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MCC Lady Eagles win District O title

By Staff
UNDER THE RADAR – MCC's Stephanie Dixon slides under the tag of Central Alabama's Elizabeth Caldwell to score on an in the park homerun. MCC is gearing up for next week's NJCAA Division I Fast-Pitch Tourney.PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
May 12, 2002
The hotter it gets, temperature-wise and pressure-wise, the better Meridian Community College's Anne McLean likes it.
That's a good thing for the freshman pitcher from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, as both versions of heat are about to get turned up a notch or two.
MCC defeated Central Alabama 9-4 in the third game of the best-of-three series for the District O championship Saturday afternoon at Northeast Park.
The win advances the Lady Eagles, 35-27, to the NJCAA Division I Fast-Pitch Tournament next week at Kissimmee, Fla. MCC will face Briarcliffe College, 29-16, of Bethpage, N.Y., in the first round on May 16 at 2 p.m.
McLean (23-10) pitched every inning for MCC in the series after battling a stomach virus earlier in the week.
MCC jumped on top early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Morgan Wright drew a leadoff walk and one out later, Stephanie Dixon hit a two-run inside-the-park homer that caromed high off the fence in left field and back toward the infield in foul territory.
The Lady Eagles took control with five more runs in the bottom of the second. Lindsey Stamm had an RBI-single, Kaylora Bingham drew a bases-loaded walk, and Robin Holland squeezed home another run.
For McLean, the quick run support was welcome.
Eakins agreed the early offensive output was a key.
Amy Hawkins hit a two-run triple for the Lady Trojans in the top of the third.
Central Alabama, 36-26, cut its deficit to 7-4 with two more runs in the fourth. Leah Welcher reached on an error by Dreka Shumpert at second base and scored on a throwing error by Bingham at first base. Amy Smith singled in the inning and came home on a single by Jill Kerley.
The Lady Eagles picked up a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. McLean singled with pinch runner Ashley Cofield and Shumpert both coming home on a single to right field by Bingham.
Bingham went 2-for-2 with two walks and three RBIs for MCC. Dixon was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Stamm and Allison Reader were both 2-for-3. Wright, Shumpert, and Dixon each scored two runs.
Hawkins and Kerley both had two hits for the Lady Trojans.
Central Alabama starter Rachel West took the loss as she gave up seven of MCC's runs before being lifted with one out in the second inning.