Northeast Mississippi Community College softball team took a big step in securing a berth in the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) state playoffswith a sweep of Mississippi Delta on Saturday, April 2.
Northeast (19-14, 9-5 in North Division) put some room between Mississippi Delta and itself in the North Division standings with a 7-2, 4-0 sweep of the Lady Trojans at Booneville City Park.
Northeast sits in the fourth spot in the North Division while Mississippi Delta trails the Lady Tigers by four games in the standings. Northeast has 10 division games left while Mississippi Delta completed the first half of division play (12 games) with its doubleheader against the Lady Tigers.
The top four teams in each division – North and South – will advance to the MACJC State Tournament to be held at the South Division champion on April 28-29.
Northeast, which started the season 7-11, has picked up speed winning six of its last seven games and is 12-3 in its last 15 contests dating back to a sweep of Southwest Tennessee on March 15.
In the opener, Booneville native Hannah Hastings gave Kelle West (Hamilton) all the runs the sophomore would need when the Lady Tiger first baseman connected on a Terra West offering for a three-run home run in the bottom of the third.
Hastings’ three-run blast put the Lady Tigers up 4-0 at that point and Northeast never looked back.
K. West scattered nine hits over seven innings only allowing two runs to the Lady Trojans in their final at bat.
Northeast added three insurance runs after Hastings’ blast keyed by a Katie Beth Dahlem (Hamilton) single to right. Northeast banged around four hits in the frame while plating three and taking a 7-0 lead on Mississippi Delta.
In the nightcap, Dahlem led Northeast to a 1-0 lead after the first and JazminSmith made sure that the one-run advantage held up.
Smith, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, held Mississippi Delta in check through the first four innings before giving way to West in the fifth.
After Mississippi Delta loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, West was able to quell the Lady Trojan comeback by striking out the third out of the frame.
Northeast captured the momentum on the strikeout and converted it into runs in its ensuing at bat.
Pinch runner Claire Wilkerson (West Union) and courtesy runner Madeline Hickman (Booneville) both made quick work of their opportunities as both freshman scampered in from second on short balls to the outfield in the fifth.
Raleigh Downs (Booneville) added Northeast’s final run of the game when the Northeast freshman scored from first when Mississippi Delta mishandled Kimberly Jumper’s (West Union) short groundball in the sixth.
Northeast will look to move up in the division standings when the Lady Tigers travel to Scooba to take on East Mississippi on Tuesday, April 5. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.