n Itawamba Community College golf standout Alex Rowland has his eyes set on qualifying for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament next month in Scottsboro, Ala. But the freshman from Houston High School, who is coming off a third-place finish at the MACJC State Championship in Holly Springs (Kirkwood National) on April 6-7, knows it won’t be easy to qualify for the week-long event beginning May 20.
“I was pretty happy with the way I played at the state championships, especially considering the near freezing conditions,” said Rowland. “I basically had just two bad holes and if not for those, who knows, I might have come away with a state title.”
Rowland will attempt to qualify for the nationals at the Region 23 Tournament, scheduled for April 27-28 at Mississippi State.
ICC head coach David Rather knew in the fall that Rowland, who finished two strokes out of first place at state with a 160 score, could be his guy to continue the program’s current streak of Indians qualifying for the national tournament.
“Alex has been our number one all year,” said Rather. “He did get out of the blocks a little slower than we expected this spring, but he has really finished strong and I’m proud of the way he battled it at Kirkwood National.”
n After an impressive sweep of Mississippi Delta in Moorehead Friday afternoon, 3-0 and 15-0, ICC continues to hold down second place in the North Division at 13-5, 26-11 overall.
South Pontotoc’s CeCee Austin is second in the nation in runs batted in with 64 and fifth in the nation in home runs with 13. Both of those marks are school records. The freshman phenomenon is also among the nation’s leaders in batting average at .480.
Pontotoc’s Brooke Tedford has also broken the school record for stolen bases in a season. The sophomore third baseman, who is second on the team in hitting at .456, has 21 stolen bases on the campaign.
Finally, sophomore pitcher Melissa Russell of Phil Campbell, Ala., broke the school record for wins in a season.
The right-hander pitched a pair of shutouts at Delta to give her a 13-2 mark on the year and her ERA has dropped below the two runs per game category at 1.96.
ICC will travel to Scooba Wednesday to face East Mississippi Community College before hosting first-place Northwest on Saturday at noon.
The Lady Indians will wrap up the regular season on Monday by entertaining rival Northeast.
The doubleheader against the Lady Tigers will be broadcast on FM 95 (95.7) and on the College Web site, www.iccms.edu. The first game begins at 2 p.m.