By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – In rare March sunshine, Itawamba and Northeast split a double-header Wednesday in a battle of MACJC North contenders.
Northeast, now third in the standings, won Game 1 2-0 and Itawamba won the nightcap 5-4 in the second game. Depending on East Mississippi’s Wednesday results, the defending North champion Lady Indians share a tie for first in the North.
In Game 2, ICC (12-7-1, 6-2) scored five in the third and held on after a controversial two-out double extended the top of the seventh.
Catherine Carver started the scoring with a two-run single. MACJC player of the week Jessi Patterson then drove in a run on an RBI bloop-out to first and Emilee Henderson and Kami Roberts hit RBI singles.
Down to the last out in the seventh, Northeast’s Bianca Chagolla hit a double down the leftfield line that may have landed in foul territory to drive in two and Erin Dixson drove in a third on a single. Haleigh Moffett followed with an RBI single to get the Lady Tigers (13-8-1, 7-3) within 5-4.
Freshman Montana Hawkins had allowed only four hits through six. Dani Taylor came in and got Victoria White looking to end the game and strand the tying run at third. Chagolla took the loss.
“Hawkins threw real well for us,” ICC coach Andy Kirk said. “We talked about how her and Taylor feed off each other. We didn’t think we were going to have to use Dani but she had to come in there and close for us.”
In Game 1, Northeast got back-to-back doubles from Ellen Tarrant and Erin Frazier for a 1-0 lead. Chagolla, the team’s leading hitter and top pitcher, blooped an RBI hit to left that scored Frazier for a 2-0 lead. ICC starter Rebecca Sloan stranded runners at second and third, but the two runs proved plenty. Dixson allowed only three ICC hits.
“We made plays to make those runs stand,” Northeast coach Jody Long said. “I thought Erin did a good job kind of handcuffing them.”