NEMCC softball inks pair of Alcorn County's top talent

By NEMCC Media Relations

BOONEVILLE – Northeast Mississippi Community College head softball coach Jody Long continues to add to his 2013-14 recruiting class as the veteran Lady Tiger signed two of Alcorn County’s top athletes during a stop in the county on Tuesday, January 22.

Alcorn Central left-handed pitcher Chelsea Buntin and Corinth High School’s pitcher/first baseman Haley Christian both agreed to become Lady Tigers for the 2013-14 season during ceremonies held at their respective schools.

Buntin was a force inside the circle for Charlette Foster’s Lady Golden Bears at Alcorn Central High School.

During her junior year, Buntin posted an 8-3 mark and struck out 84 against just 10 walks in 65 innings of work.

Buntin received the pitching award for the Lady Golden Bears for the past three years and has been a member of the Division 1-3A team since 2009.

In addition to her pitching, Buntin won the best batting average award for Alcorn Central in 2012 when the Lady Bear junior posted a .328 batting average while collecting 24 hits in 61 at bats, which included three doubles and a triple.

In addition to her .328 average, Buntin had a .481 on-base percentage and a .410 slugging percentage while driving in 14 runs.

While Buntin was striking out the opposition, she was a hard out at the plate and struck out just twice against 18 walks during the 2012 season.

Christian was consistent for Janna LaBarreare’s Lady Warriors during her junior year at Corinth High School.

Christian posted a 5-1 mark on the mound but was a versatile athlete that also saw the Lady Warrior clock time at first base as well – recording 201 putouts on the year against just eight miscues.

Christain finished the 2011-12 year with a .965 fielding percentage.

At the plate, Christian amassed 25 hits in 97 at bats including a pair of doubles and a homerun for the Lady Warriors.

In addition to her 25 hits in 97 at bats, Christian had a .295 on-base percentage and a .309 slugging percentage for Corinth along with 21 runs batted in (RBI) while scoring 19 more for the Lady Warriors.

During the 2012 slow-pitch season, Christian helped lead the Lady Warriors to their first-ever state championship as Corinth knocked off Newton County 2-1 in the best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A state finals 9-6, 3-6, 8-1.

Christian was named to the Division 1-4A First Team for fast- and slow-pitch and has been a consistent member on the all-division team earning honorable mention when Corinth was in Division 1-3A along with a place on the All-Alcorn County slow- and fast-pitch team.

With the addition of Buntin and Christian, Long has now added six players to his 2013-14 recruiting class including East Webster pitcher Abigail Rish, Red Bay, Alabama outfielder Audrey Goss and New Albany infielder Shannon Goode and outfielder Morgan Beaty.

Northeast’s softball program will open the 2012-13 season on February 12 as the Lady Tigers host Calhoun Community College at 1 p.m.

Northeast is coming off a 2011-12 year that saw the Lady Tiger softball team bring the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) state runner-up trophy back to Booneville.

Under the guidance of head coach Jody Long, Northeast finished the season with a 32-19 record and posted a school-record for North Division wins with 17.

During the course of the 2011-12 season, Northeast finished as the third, team from the North Division but parlayed that finish into a state runner-up finish against Jones County at the MACJC State Tournament in Fulton and then continued its postseason momentum as Northeast was one of the last three teams left standing at the NJCAA Region XXIII Tournament in Clinton.

Long’s Lady Tigers not only did work on the field but were successful in the classroom as well with seven member of the Northeast softball team being selected for NJCAA Student-Athlete Academic Awards and the team as a whole was honored by the NJCAA for its academic work when the Lady Tigers were ranked as the thirteenth best team in the nation with a 3.42 overall grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.

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