NW-SCC earns first softball wins since return of program

The Northwest-Shoals Community College Patriots picked up their first wins since the return of the softball program in their first home games of the 2023 season with a sweep of the East Mississippi Lions Feb. 10.

The campus field isn’t quite ready for action, but after starting the season on the road and going 0-4, the NW-SCC ladies were happy to be playing in front of a home crowd at Gattman Park in Muscle Shoals. The Patriots got a 5-4 win in the first game of the day in a nail-biter before dominating the Lions in game two, 13-3 in five innings.

“The girls have been working really hard and improving every game,” said Northwest-Shoals head coach Angel Brown. “That was something that was our goal for the year – to compete every pitch – so I think they did a really good job of that today, just coming out and doing it in front of the hometown crowd and getting the job done.”

In the opener, the Patriots got an outstanding performance from Tharptown alum Taylor Cameron in the pitching circle. The freshman right-hander pitched the first six innings with a 4-2 lead before being relieved for the top of the seventh.

After East tried to put together a late rally, Cameron returned to pitch and got the final two outs for the win.

Overall, Cameron allowed four hits and two unearned runs. She struck out seven and walked five.

“She’s actually not 100 percent,” Brown shared. “She’s coming back from an injury, so we’re trying not to use her a whole lot, so we made that switch at the end. I was going to try to save her and get her some innings in the second game.

“She always does a good job and she’s such a competitor,” Brown praised. “She always wants the ball, and we want her to have it as much as possible.”

Northwest-Shoals got big hits at the plate by Alyssa Brown, who went three-for-three, including a home run, double and three RBIs.

Shortstop Kailey Armstrong also added a home run and two RBIs while playing at her old high school field in Muscle Shoals. The former Trojan also scored three runs.

Ava Brumley added the other NW-SCC hit and also stole a base.

Game two was all Patriots after East Mississippi jumped out to a 1-0 first-inning lead. Northwest-Shoals answered with eight runs in the bottom half of the opening frame and piled on with another run in the second and two more in both the third and fourth innings.

Chloe Handley, Brumley, Armstrong and Brown had two hits each, with one of Brumley’s hits coming in the form of a double. Stefanie Price, Katie Dawson and Carley Hunter also hit safely.

Brumley had three RBIs to lead the team.

Armstrong and Hunter added two RBIs apiece, and runs were also plated by Dawson, Handley and Price.

Handley handled pitching for the Patriots. The former Deshler Tiger worked all five innings, allowing three hits, with two of the runs by East being of the earned variety. Handley struck out two and walked four.

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