Co-Lin cruises past Lansing CC in National Tournament opener

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

It only took five innings for the Copiah-Lincoln softball team to find themselves in the second round of the NJCAA Division II Softball National Tournament on Tuesday in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

CLCC (44-9), seeded No. 5 in the tournament, made quick work of No. 12 seed Lansing (Michigan) CC. Co-Lin got four runs in the second inning, one in the fourth and then three more in the fifth to win 8-0 in a run-rule, shortened five inning victory.

Co-Lin head coach Meleah Howard and her staff of assistants Amber Beall and Drake Flowers had freshman pitcher Cara Biswell (Brandon High) starting in the circle and throwing to freshman catcher Abby Grace Richardson (Brookhaven Academy) behind the plate.

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Biswell was outstanding as she gave up just one hit and struck out six batters while walking just one.

Other starters for the Wolves in game one included freshman Zykeria Cole (Simpson Academy) at first base, sophomore Maddie Weeks (Clinton Christian) at second base, sophomore Faith Kivett (Tallulah Aca.) at shortstop and sophomore Josie Meggs (Kosciusko High) at third base.

Weeks has inked to next play at the University of Southern Mississippi and Kivett has signed a scholarship to continue her career at Southeaster Louisiana. Meggs is a third-year player who originally signed with Delta State last year, but returned to Co-Lin to play one more season of junior college softball after originally beginning her career at Itawamba CC.

Brookhaven Academy alum Madison Moak started in center field on Tuesday while sophomore Belle West (Hillcrest Christian) started in right field and freshman Leia Phillips (Choctaw Central) started in left field. West also pitches for the Wolves and has signed to next play softball at Belhaven University.

Sophomore Skyler Speights (Lawrence County) was the designated player and batted seventh in the lineup on Tuesday.

Co-Lin got rolling offensively in the bottom of the second when Richardson led the inning off with a single to get aboard. She then scored to put Co-Lin up 1-0 when West singled.

West scored later in the inning when Kivett drew a walk with the bases loaded.

Richardson, batting for the second time in the inning, drove in Meggs via a sacrifice fly and then Co-Lin got the final run of the inning to go up 4-0 when Moak hit a single that scored Phillips.

Meggs singled with one away in the bottom of the fourth and then later scored in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Weeks.

The final at-bat for Co-Lin in the fifth started with West drawing a walk. West scored on a single by Phillips later in the frame.

Co-Lin reached the magic number of being up 8-runs after five innings when courtesy runner Maggie West (Wayne County) scored on a wild pitch and then Kivett hit a single that brough Phillips home.

Next up for Co-Lin is a 2 p.m. EST, 1 p.m. CST matchup with Parkland College on Wednesday in the second round. Parkland won its opener on Tuesday by an 8-0 final score over Delaware Tech.

Parkland, located in Champaigne, Illinois, is 50-10 overall and seeded No. 4 in the field.

The game on Wednesday will be the second time in 2023 for Co-Lin and Parkland to meet on the diamond.

Way, way back on Feb. 25, the teams met in a tournament put on by Hinds CC in Vicksburg. On that day, Parkland used 12 hits to get a 12-3 win in five innings over the Wolves.

Parkland went 5-2 during that weeklong swing through the south against MACCC competition.

Co-Lin is much improved team from that time though as the Wolves once sat with a record of 15-7 overall, before piling up league wins and having a nine-game and a 16-game winning streak during the regular season on the way to winning the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament over Jones College with back-to-back wins in Ellisville.