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Lady Wolves in region tournament

WESSON — The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolves beginplay in the six-team, double-elimination MACJC State Region XXIIIFastpitch Softball Tournament Friday at East Central in Decatur.The tournament is double elimination and includes two teams fromthe North, Central and South Divisions.

Joining East Central (Central No. 1) and Co-Lin (South No. 2)are Gulf Coast (South No. 1), Meridian (Central No. 2), Northeast(North No. 1) and Northwest (North No. 2). Gulf Coast and Northeastreceived first-round byes.

The EC Lady Warriors host the Lady Wolves at 3 p.m. in the firstround Friday afternoon. If Co-Lin wins, they face Northeast thatnight at 7. Other first round games include Northwest vs. Meridianat 1 with the winner facing Gulf Coast at 5.

“They (East Central) are a fine team,” said Co-Lin head coachAllen Kent, who is in his third year at the helm.” He (ECCC coachScott Hill) has turned their program around.”

Co-Lin split with East Central earlier in the season.

The Lady Wolves finished regular season play 27-4 with threelosses to Gulf Coast and one to East Central.

The Co-Lin women swept a 4-game series from Hinds, Itawamba,Southwest, Pearl River, Jones County and East Mississippi.

Sophomores playing on the Co-Lin team are infielder CourtneyAngel of Vicksburg, outfielder Angie Davis of Brookhaven, infielderJessica Melton of Bogue Chitto and outfielder/catcher Mandy Vinsonof Brookhaven.

Freshmen include catcher/infielder Megan Bateman of Brookhaven,infielder/catcher/outfielder Amber Beeson of Sontag,outfielder/infielder Brandi Bridges of Crystal Springs, pitcherEmily Horne of Pearland, Tex., pitcher Kendra Lindsey of Olla, La.,infielder/outfielder Holly Pyles of Crystal Springs,infielder/outfielder Beth Smith of Wesson, infielder Stacy Smith ofSontag and infielder/outfielder/pitcher Jackie Stowe ofHazlehurst.

The Lady Wolves suffered an early setback when they lost Lindseyto a leg injury. Horne took over as the starter with Stoweassisting down the stretch.

Lindsey pitched the first 2 games before suffering the kneeinjury in the first inning of the third game. She is 3-0 in 12.67innings pitched. with 6 hits allowed, 8 strikeouts and nowalks.

Horne has worked 26 games (143 innings) with 103 hits allowed,153 strikeouts and 24 walks. She is 20-4-2 on the season with anERA of 1.22.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without Emily,” stated Kent. “Shereally stepped up and threw both games. Emily has won some closegames and kept us in all of them.

“It has taken its toll on her throwing both games ofdoubleheaders.,” continued Kent. “She has battled right to theend.”

Horne has six pitches she can rely on to get the battersout.

“I like to use my rising curveball,” smiled Horne when askedabout her best pitch. “I have a real good day when my screw ball isreally on. I’ve been pitching and playing for a long time. I lovethe game.

“We have been working hard all year,” added Horne. “We’re readyto go and win it all.”

Stowe pitched in 9 games (26.33 innings), allowing 26 hits,striking out 18 batters and walking 6. She is 4-2 on the seasonwith a 3.46 ERA.

“It’s going to be more difficult on us without the bye andhaving one pitcher,” added Kent. “Stowe will see some action.Having to throw three days in a row will take its toll onanybody.

“Jackie is OK,” added Kent. “She has done well for us. I feelconfident putting her out there.”

On defense, he Co-Lin fielding percentage is .947 for theseason. Bridges and Pyles lead the fielding average with 1.000.

Bateman, the starting catcher, leads the Lady Wolves in put-outswith 191 and 12 assists. Her fielding percentage is .976. Followingwith .986 average, including 48 put-outs and 24 assists, is Stowe.Davis follows with .972 including 34 put-outs and one assist.

“Our defense has been spotty,” said Kent. “At this point in theyear, you can’t afford to make defensive mistakes. Everybody willcapitalize on it. Everyone has good pitching.”

Angel returned to the lineup last week but sustained anotherinjury to her recently heeled knee Tuesday night at practice. Heravailability at game time is questionable.

Kent thanked his assistant coach Johnny Williams for all hishard work with the Lady Wolves team.

“Coach Johnny Williams has been a big part of our success,”praised Kent. “Williams works real hard with the girls. He is justa good assistant. I bounce a lot of things off him. We have madesome tough decisions this year. He is a valuable part of ourprogram.”