CLCC softball piles up MACCC postseason awards

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, May 18, 2022

After winning the first MACCC state championship for the school since 2009, the goal last week was for the Copiah-Lincoln softball team to ride a wave of momentum into the NCJAA Region 23 Tournament and secure a bid to the NJCAA Division II World Series in Alabama.

That goal is one that’s left to check off for a future team, as a 1-2 showing in the region tournament came to an end with CLCC dropping a 3-2 loss to Northeast on Saturday in the season finale. Northwest Mississippi CC (35-13) beat LSU-Eunice (34-20) 9-2 for the region title on Sunday.

The Wolves finished with a 42-10 record, a school record for wins, and not surprisingly, the postseason awards from the conference reflect the success seen this season on the diamond this year by Co-Lin.

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Co-Lin head coach Meleah Howard was named 2022 Coach of the Year in a vote by coaches from the conference.

A CLCC softball alum who was a standout on the field during her career, the Bogue Chitto native reached 100 career wins this season at Co-Lin and needed only 131 games to hit that mark. Her team was ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in school history in 2022 and had a 27-game win streak during the season.

A big part to the success this season for Co-Lin was the play of sophomore pitcher Cera Blanchard. A native of Metairie, Louisiana — Blanchard went 4-0 in the circle for Co-Lin during the run to the state title at Jones College.

Blanchard was named MACCC Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-MACCC.

A Southeastern University softball signee, Blanchard began conference play by going 32.2 innings without giving up an earned run. Her 40 career wins and 316 career strikeouts put her at second in both categories all-time at the school.

Blanchard prepped at De La Salle High in New Orleans and finished with 25 pitching wins this season, also a new school record and had a 1.37 earned run average in 2022.

Also named First Team All-MACCC from Co-Lin were freshman shortstop Faith Kivett and freshman second baseman Maddie Weeks.

Kivett, a native of Tallulah, Louisiana that prepped at Tallulah Academy, had a team best .438 batting average in 2022. She also had a team-high 70 hits and tied for the team lead with six triples.

The 5-foot-3 Weeks showed power with her bat throughout the season as she led Co-Lin with 12 home runs in 2022. An alum of Clinton Christian Academy, she hit six triples as well and posted a team best slugging percentage of .748.

Weeks led the team with 61 runs driven in, which is tied for second most in program history.

Two local standouts were also named Second Team All-MACCC after finishing stellar careers for Co-Lin in catcher Madi Miller and outfielder Shelbi Maxwell.

Miller finished with 58 hits in 2022, which was second most on the team. The Brookhaven High alum will continue her career by playing softball at Belhaven next season.

Maxwell showed off why she’s long been known as one of the fastest players in the state in 2022 by stealing 40 bases — which put her in the top 10 nationally and No. 1 in the MACCC. The Wesson grad had 56 hits on the season, which was third best on the team.

Fellow sophomores Malori Cade (Loyd Star) and Josie Meggs (Kosciusko High) will both continue their careers next year by playing at Delta State University.

Howard said most of the sophomore class had opportunities to play at the next level, but many chose to focus on school and forgo athletics moving forward.

Kivett and Weeks are two experienced returnees for Howard’s team to build around for 2023. Fellow freshman Mary Ansley Chrestman (Bayou Academy) saw action in 40 games this season and next year’s team will be further bolstered by the return of freshman pitcher Belle West.

A product of Hillcrest Christian, West went 17-3 in 25 pitching appearances in 2022. The right-hander also hit five homeruns and drove in 19 runs in 80 appearances at the plate.

Howard and her staff of assistants Amber Beall and Drake Flowers have reloaded their roster by signing an incoming class of freshmen that includes pitcher Cara Biswell of Brandon High, infielder Jenna Chamblee of Leake Academy, infielder Zykeria Cole of Simpson Academy, utility player Bailee Goodson of Brookhaven Academy, outfielder Madison Moak of Brookhaven Academy, utility player Leia Phillips of Choctaw Central, catcher Abby Grace Richardson of Brookhaven Academy, first baseman Sarah Grace Smith of Copiah Academy, pitcher Karleigh Soileau of St. Edmond Catholic (Lafayette, La.), pitcher Laney Waguespack of Hahnville High (Boutte, La.), infielder Ellie Williamson of Tri-County Academy and outfielder Kat Case of Lawrence County High School.