Co-Lin has a couple of big-time softball fans at my house

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The regular season is quickly wrapping up for the softball and baseball teams at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. If you want to watch the defending national champion softball team play, you’ve got two more MACCC home series to catch them in Wesson.

Before we talk softball, let’s give a shoutout to second-year head baseball coach Adam Chamblee and his assistant coaches Chase Stewart and Trip Benson. At press time the Wolves are 22-22 overall with a series at Southwest on Wednesday (4/17), at East Mississippi on Saturday (4/20) and two home series against Hinds (4/24) and Coahoma (4/27) next week.

The Wolves have not won more than 22 regular season games in a season since Hall of Fame head coach Keith Case was leading the team.

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Chamblee’s inaugural team went 15-35 last year and did not sweep a league doubleheader until its final one, against a Coahoma team that finished 4-24.

Last Saturday at home, the Wolves swept visiting Holmes CC by winning two one-run games, 7-6 and 1-0, which was their third league sweep thus far in 2024.

It hasn’t all been home runs and routine fly balls though, as the Wolves lost a doubleheader at home by a combined total of 25-1 a couple weeks to the mighty Pearl River Wildcats.

Co-Lin is 5-1 since that day and has upward momentum as it tries to secure a postseason spot in the upcoming Region 23 Tournament.

Chamblee wants his program to one day be near the top of the table where schools such as Pearl River (42-5) and East Central (40-4) are battling for an MACCC state title and top seed in the playoffs.

Chamblee was hired after being on the staff for three seasons at East Central Community College and he’s seen firsthand the strong program that’s been built there at a school that mirrors Co-Lin in many ways. The MACCC is filled with small towns, but Wesson and Decatur are both on the smaller end of that spectrum.

Climbing up the MACCC pecking order takes updated facilities, which Co-Lin has done much work on already with the recent renovation of Sullivan Field. It also takes a few good recruiting cycles and lots of pitching depth and having the really good local players stay at home while also making sure the guys you bring in from out of state are stars.

That doesn’t happen easily, and it doesn’t always happen all at once, but it feels like a culture is being built in year two for Chamblee.

Just across campus, the culture at the softball field is one of a party put on by your closest friends and family.

As I wrote about two years ago in a column, winning is fun and nobody looks like they are having more fun when they win than the Co-Lin softball team.

When coach Meleah Brown’s girls are hitting balls out of the park and making big plays in the field, the dugout turns into a mosh pit, filled with dancing, singing, and all types of comedic props.

My current favorite is the “K-Chair,” which gets held aloft and paraded around when a Co-Lin pitcher earns a strikeout.

Last season Co-Lin played really, really well throughout the season and then got super-hot when it mattered most to finish 49-10 and bring home the first national championship for any sport in the school’s history.

With returners up and down the roster, Co-Lin has stayed steaming in 2024, as the Wolves are currently 32-3 overall and 19-1 in conference play.

There is still much to play for as Pearl River, Jones College and Hinds lurk just behind in the standings for the state title. The winner of that will host the upcoming Region 23 Tournament, but if you don’t want to wait until the postseason, you only have two more chances to see the team in Wesson during the regular season.

Co-Lin softball will host Southwest Mississippi on Wednesday (4/17) and East Mississippi on Saturday (4/20). They’ll then close out the regular season at Hinds (4/24) and Coahoma (4/27).

Southwest Mississippi is 14-18 overall and 3-13 in conference play. Loyd Star product Alyssa Leggett is one of the top freshman hitters on the team for Southwest with seven doubles, one triple and four home runs thus far this season.

Co-Lin last played on Saturday, a sweep on the road at Holmes (12-1, 9-3).

When I mentioned the score to my wife Angela on Sunday while writing this column, she scoffed at me for not already knowing it.

Disclaimer, Angela works as the Executive Director of the Co-Lin Foundation, a job where she does outstanding work. She has always equally rooted for all the sports at the school in her nearly 20-year career in Wesson.

Over the last few years though, she has become a big-time softball fan thanks to watching a group of ladies that rarely lose.

She never played the sport growing up and sometimes has questions as she sits on the couch after work, watching a streamed road game on her phone.

Often, she’ll let out a cheer when the Wolves blast a home run, which happens often with so much power in the lineup. Lately, we’ll find ourselves sitting around bantering about the pitching rotation or the latest signing class or who’s coming up next on the schedule for CLCC softball.

With so much talent returning this season for Howard and her assistant coaches Amber Beall, Drake Flowers, and Madison Nations, it felt like the team might get weighed down by expectations as repeating as national championships feels like something you hope for, but don’t necessarily focus on.

Watch this team play and you won’t see anyone that looks tight or held back or nervous. Did I mention the props in the dugout and the spontaneous dance parties?

The big-time softball fan in my house was raving about some of the local talent on the roster and I had to remind her that I’ve been coming home from this writing job and talking about how special some of these kids were since covering them as freshmen in high school.

Of the 16 Mississippi players on the softball roster, eight of them are from schools within Co-Lin’s traditional attendance zone of Copiah, Lincoln, Lawrence, Jefferson, Natchez, Simpson or Adams counties.

Four of them are from Lincoln County — freshman Carson Hughey and sophomores Abby Grace Richardson, Madison Moak, and Bailee Goodson.

When Moak is in centerfield, playing behind Richardson at shortstop and Goodson at second base, you can see the trio of Brookhaven Academy alums forming what looks like a literal backbone of the team.

And that’s what they’ve been this year, though they have not done it alone. Along with fellow sophomore everyday starters Biswell, Zykeria Cole, and Leia Phillips, the returnees have been leading from the front in the field and at the plate.

Richardson, the all-time home run leader in CLCC history and a Mississippi State signee, couldn’t pay an opposing pitcher to give her a pitch in the strike zone. Even still, she’s managed to hit 16 home runs this season, while also drawing 39 walks, many of them intentional.

Moak, a Southern Miss signee, has been equally hot with her bat, and the younger players have gotten better with each week. The pitching staff is deep and like they did last season, this team has shown a knack for making plays when their collective backs are against the wall.

Have I sold you yet?

When I recommend something and tell you that it’s awesome, I’m the type that wants to know that you watched that movie or series I suggested or listened to that song or read that book I tried to tell you about.

If I’m recommending it to you, then it’s something I’m passionate about.

So read all that to know this — the Co-Lin softball team is really, really awesome and worth watching.

You’ve got two more home series this regular season to catch them in person and don’t be surprised if you see the big-time softball fans from my house there when you go.


Cliff Furr is the sports editor at The Daily Leader. He can be reached via email at