Co-Lin takes first step in nationals today

Published 5:00 am Thursday, May 18, 2006

Coach Allen Kent and his Copiah-Lincoln Community College LadyWolves plan to take it one game at a time. They begin play today inthe NJCAA Division II National Softball Tournament in Normal,Ill.

Co-Lin (37-7) received an opening round bye and plays the winnerof the Kankakee (Ill.)-Orange County (N.Y.) game today at 1 p.m. Aloss would drop the Lady Wolves into a 4:30 consolation bracketgame. A win would advance them to a 10 a.m. Friday game in thedouble-elimination tournament.

Tournament finals are scheduled for 10:30 p.m. Saturday night atChampions Field. Twelve teams are entered, led by 2-time defendingnational champion Phoenix (Ariz.) College.

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“We’ve played a tough schedule and had some positive experiencesthis year,” said Kent. “We’ve been able to win all of our extrainning games this year.”

Kent’s team went 6-0 in the state and regional tournaments.

“We’ve had to rely on doing the softball things right,” saidKent. “As a whole, we’ve been able to steal bases and get our buntsdown, get the sacrifice fly and score some runs.”

Kent said sophomore Emily Horne of Pearland, Texas would starton the mound today. She is 19-3 on the season and has a 0.62 ERA.She has struck out 181 batters in 146 innings and allowed 78 hits,walking 24.

Also expected to be in the starting lineup today are sophomorecatcher Megan Bateman (.353) of Brookhaven, freshman leftfielderAnnie Selman (.402) of Crystal Springs (Copiah Academy), freshmanshortstop Kady King (.355) of Brandon (Parklane), sophomore secondbaseman Jackie Stowe (.412) of Hazlehurst (Copiah), sophomore firstbaseman Amber Beeson (.272) of Sontag (Brookhaven Academy),freshman third baseman Lauren Smith (.337) of Brookhaven (WestLincoln), freshman rightfielder Kaylin Burke (.271) of Brookhaven(Enterprise) and freshman flex Candace Braxton (.333) of BogueChitto.

Stowe and freshman infielder/pitcher Erin Douglass of Katy,Texas, lead the team with 35 RBIs apiece. Douglas, 13-4 on themound with a 2.26 ERA; is batting .516.

Horne is batting .371.

On the base paths, Selman has stolen 15 bases in 16 attempts.Bateman is 9 of 10 in base thefts and Stowe is 12 of 13.

Co-Lin has only 1 home run this season and that was hit byBeeson. The Lady Wolves are averaging 6.3 runs per game, comparedto 2.12 by opponents.