Northeast softball 5-1 after Tigerfest
Northeast Mississippi Community College sophomore shortstop Nicki Whitten of Booneville made the most of her final TigerFest Tournament.
Whitten, a team captain, went 6-for-10 over the two-day tournament while leading the Lady Tigers to a 5-1 mark.
After dropping the first game of the tournament to Lincoln Land (Ill.) 3-2, Northeast reeled off five straight victories including wins over Indian Hills (Iowa) 9-1, Lane College 16-0, Southwest Tennessee 7-2, Jefferson College (Mo.) 9-4 and East Central 5-2.
Whitten made her impact felt on the final day of the tournament as the Northeast sophomore blasted her first two collegiate home runs. Whitten connected on a blast against Southwest Tennessee and then turned the trick against East Central.
Against the Lady Salukis, Whitten was 3-for-3 with a double and a home run while driving in four and scoring a run herself.
Over the six-game TigerFest schedule, Whitten drove in six runs – including the four against the Lady Salukis – scored eight times and did not strike out in 15 plate appearances.
With her second homerun of the day, Whitten staked the Lady Tigers to a 4-0 advantage against perennial power East Central as the Northeast sophomore connected on a one-out, two-run homer to center that drove home pinch runner Claire Wilkerson.
In the field, Whitten was just as dominate only committing one error in 20 chances during the six-game span while turning a pair of double plays for the Lady Tigers.
While Whitten was busy putting on an offensive show on Saturday, a trio of freshmen were also busy having a big weekends for the Lady Tigers.
Freshmen Ellen Tarrant (New Albany), Andrea Cutts (Ackerman) and Erin Dixson (Amherst, New York) combined to go 17-for-44 over the two-day event.
Tarrant was 6-for-15 with a double and two homeruns for the Lady Tigers while scoring seven runs and did not strike out once in 18 plate appearances.
Cutts was 6-for-16 with two doubles, two triples and a home run and five RBI during the six-game stretch and also scored three runs while walking twice in 20 plate appearances.
Dixson made an impact at the plate as well as on the mound for the Lady Tigers. In six games for Northeast, Dixson was 5-for-13 at the plate including 3-for-9 in her last three games with a double, homer, four RBI and scored three runs.
On the mound, Dixson was just as dominant going 2-0 in nine innings pitched while allowing just eight hits to the opposition in 35 batters. Dixson gave up just two runs during the entire tournament while striking out four against no walks.
With its 5-1 record, Northeast moved to 8-4 on the season and has its best start to a year since the 2004 season when the Lady Tigers finished 38-13 and finished as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XXIII Runner-up
About Chris Elkins
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