From walk-on to record-setter, Dani Taylor (West Union) is making the most of her collegiate softball career by leaving her mark on the Itawamba Community College softball program.
Taylor set the record by striking out the final batter in a three up, three down top of the seventh inning in the Lady Indians’ 6-4 victory over Hinds Community College on Saturday.
The West Union High School graduate entered the game in the top of sixth with two outs and a runner on second after Hinds had plated two runs and promptly ended the rally two pitches into entering the contest with a ground out to second base.
Dani tied the single-season record (4) set during the sophomore season of former National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Region 23 pitcher Chelsea Lukens (Saltillo) in a 6-4 road North Division victory over Holmes Community College.
Taylor recorded her first save of the season in March when she entered in a bases-loaded situation in the Lady Indians’ 5-2 victory over Holmes with her second save coming in a 5-4 win over Gadsden State Community College (AL) and third in ICC’s 5-4 win over Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Taylor has a 2-2 record and a 1.63 ERA to go along with 18 strikeouts in 38.2 innings of work this season and has been nominated for CoSIDA’s Capital One Academic All-American honors.
Her five saves leads the NJCAA and is one away from tying the all-time career saves mark (6) set by Lukens, who played at ICC during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
During her freshman season, Taylor joined the ICC softball program as a walk-on before impressing her coaches to earn a scholarship before the start of the season.
She finished her first season as a Lady Indian by going 4-1 on the year with a 1.30 ERA, 17 strikeouts, 7 walks while giving up 14 runs (5 earned) on 20 hits in 27 innings pitched. That season the Lady Indians won a program’s best 34 games and advanced to the semifinals of the NJCAA Region 23 tournament.
Taylor and the Lady Indians (22-11-1, 11-5) are battling to defend their Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division championship currently one game out of first place with eight division games left in the season.