Dixon, McLean provide Lady Eagles with age, experience
NORTHERN DUO – Pitcher Anne McLean, photo, and shortstop Stephanie Dixon, are key cogs in the Meridian Community College softball machine. Both are from Victoria, British Columbia in Canada and both found out about the MCC softball program in interesting way. The Lady Eagles open play in the NJCAA Division I Fast-Pitch Softball National Championship today at 1 p.m. Photos by Paula Merritt The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
May 16, 2002
KISSIMMEE, Fla. Meridian Community College's Canadian connection has done more than its share in keeping the Lady Eagles' fast-pitch softball program in the national spotlight.
With sophomore Stephanie Dixon manning the vital shortstop position and freshman Anne McLean handing the pitching chores in 40 of MCC's 62 games, the Lady Eagles are participating in their third straight NJCAA Division I Fast-Pitch Softball National Championship. Tournament play begins today with MCC meeting Briarcliffe (N.Y.) College at 1 p.m.
Dixon led the team in batting average (.433), hits (81), runs (48), doubles (13), triples (13), home runs (5), total bases (135), and RBIs (46) for the regular season. She also had MCC's highest slugging percentage (.722) and struck out only five times in 187 at-bats.
In the best-of-three District O playoff series with Central Alabama last weekend, Dixon went 3-for-10 with a key two-run homer in the first inning of Game 3.
McLean is 26-9 with a 1.70 ERA. In 229.1 innings, she has struck out 118 batters. She threw all 19 innings against Central Alabama.
Both athletes from Victoria, British Columbia, are older than your typical junior college players. Dixon is 22, while McLean is 21.
How the two Canadians wound up in Meridian is Eakins' good fortune.
Just playing softball, though, is her biggest highlight.
McLean's decision to play for MCC really cut it close, time-wise.
McLean takes it from there.
Despite both being from Victoria, British Columbia, which is north of Seattle, the two never played together until recently.
After turning 16, Dixon left to play summer ball in Vancouver, a 90-minute ferry ride, while McLean stayed and played at Victoria.
McLean has no regrets in following Dixon's lead in coming to MCC.
Experiencing Mississippi has been a highlight as well.
Flying back and forth isn't so much fun.
Quite a few other Canadians are taking part in the NJCAA national tournament. That group includes freshman pitcher Andrea Nyhus of Surrey, British Columbia, who plays for Central Arizona College; sophomore catcher Melissa Botelho and sophomore pitcher Kimberly Farris of Ontario, and sophomore catcher/first baseman Kelly Upton of Vancouver, all of whom play for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural (Ga.) College; and sophomore pitcher/outfielder Dione Meier and catcher/infielder Janelle Sick, both of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who play for Galveston (Texas) College.