Pitchers rule the day in Lady Tigers’ sweep of Holmes

In its previous nine games, Northeast Mississippi Community College’s softball team had outscored the opposition 101-14 but pitchers ruled the day on Tuesday, March 8 at Booneville City Park.
Northeast’s Erin Dixson and Jaisa Fox matched Holmes’ Kelsey Marter in a doubleheader that saw just three runs scored, 16 combined hits and 21 strikeouts with the Lady Tigers coming out on top with a pair of close decisions.
Northeast (14-4, 4-0 in North Division) captured a 1-0 win in eight innings in the opener before making a pair of first-inning runs stick in a 2-0 victory in the nightcap.
In the opener, Dixson and Marter limited their respective oppositions to just four hits apiece while keeping the offenses in check.
In her eight innings, Dixson threw to just 26 batters – two over the minimum of 24, while Marter tossed to 25 hitters – just three over her minimum of 22.
With both pitchers dominating, it was the first extra inning that changed the outcome.
Before the eighth inning, Dixson had allowed just one batter to reach second base and Marter had seen just two Lady Tigers reach second in her seven innings.
Holmes threatened in the eighth after the international tiebreaker put Lady Bulldog Jonissa Buchannan on second and a sacrifice bunt moved Buchannan to third with just one out in the frame.
Dixson did not let that phase the Northeast freshman as she struck out the next batter and induced a groundout to second that ended thethreat for the Lady Bulldogs.
Northeast did not let the opportunity slip from its grasp as the Lady Tigers scored in their next at bat.
After Madeline Hickman went in to run for Dixson as the international tiebreaker, back-to-back singles turned the trick for the Lady Tigers.
Lady Tiger first baseman Hannah Hastings moved Hickman to third with a one-out single to left field and sophomore Jazmin Smith ended the game with her single to right field that chased Hickman home.
In the nightcap, Dixson was the offensive force accounting for both runs in the first as Fox and Marter dueled it out on the mound.
After back-to-back errors put Raleigh Downs and Haley Knepp on, a single by Andrea Cutts loaded the bases for Dixson and the Lady Tigerfreshman delivered.
Dixson sent a shot through the middle infield that chased both Downs and Knepp home and staked the Lady Tigers to a two-run lead.
Fox made the lead stand as the Northeast sophomore fanned nine in the contest and did not allow a runner to reach second until the fifth inning.
In the fifth, Holmes threatened but Fox quelled the threat.
After Lauren Tharp and Victoria Hunt’s back-to-back two-out singles put a Lady Bulldog in scoring position, Fox struck out Frankie Maxwell to end the inning.
Northeast will look to keep its undefeated division record intact when the Lady Tigers travel to Fulton to play Itawamba Community College on Friday, March 9. First pitch of the North Division doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.