Co-Lin softball facing top seeded Murray State in national tournament
Published 8:48 am Thursday, May 25, 2023
When the brackets were released for the NJCAA Division II Softball National Championship last week, the no. 5 seeded team from Copiah-Lincoln Community College knew that their dreams of winning the whole thing would put them on a course to face the only unbeaten team in the tournament, no. 1 seeded Murray State.
On Wednesday in some early morning softball to be played at the tournament host site of Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Wolves will get an opportunity to see how they match up with the Murray State Aggies.
The first pitch between the Wolves (45-9) and Aggies (58-0) is scheduled for 9 a.m. CST on Wednesday.
Co-Lin took an efficient 4-2 win over the no. 4 seeded team from Parkland CC (Illinois) on Tuesday to stay on the winner’s side of the national bracket.
Parkland led 2-1 heading into the fifth inning, but the Wolves tied the game at 2-2 after the top half of the fifth and then scored a go-ahead pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to grab the victory.
Getting the leadoff batter of an inning aboard is often the spark that generates runs and that was the case in the sixth when Co-Lin took the lead.
Leadoff batter Leia Phillips (Choctaw Central) got aboard after being hit by a pitch. Next to the plate was the no. 9 hitter in the CLCC lineup, shortstop Faith Kivett.
Kivett played at tiny Tallulah Academy in northeast Louisiana during her high school career and has already signed to next play softball at NCAA Division I Southeastern Louisiana University.
On Tuesday, Kivett delivered a huge double that moved Phillips to third with no one out.
Parkland swapped pitchers, but the batter at the top of the order for Co-Lin, third-year sophomore Josie Meggs, put a ball in play that scored Phillips and moved Kivett to third as Parkland made the play to get her out at first base.
The next batter, Brookhaven Academy alum Madison Moak, singled through the infield to score Kivett and put CLCC up 4-2 for good.
Freshman pitcher Cara Biswell (Brandon High) was again a rock in the pitching circle for Co-Lin head coach Meleah Howard. Biswell scattered seven hits, gave up two earned runs, walked one and struck out eight on Tuesday. On Monday in the tourney opener for Co-Lin, Biswell tossed a five-inning one-hitter in an 8-0 win.
Co-Lin got on the board in the top of the third when sophomore second baseman Maddie Weeks (Clinton Christian), a Southern Miss signee, belted a one-run home run over the left field fence.
When Co-Lin tied the game in the top of the fifth, the offense again was working due to the leadoff batter of the inning getting aboard.
Moak started the frame with a bunt single and then later scored on a single by Zykeria Cole (Simpson Academy).
Murray State made quick work of the no. 16 seeded team from Independence (Kansas) in their opener on Monday with an 8-0 win. On Tuesday, the Aggies beat Kirkwood (Iowa) by a 3-1 final score. The game was tied 1-1 until Murray State took the lead in the sixth inning.
The winner of the game between Murray State and Co-Lin will earn a berth in the national semifinals.