Co-Lin softball opens day three of World Series with early elimination game

Published 8:36 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

Copiah-Lincoln CC softball fans will have some ball to watch with their breakfast on Thursday as the no. 2 seeded Wolves (45-6) take on Rock Valley (33-14) at 9 a.m. in an elimination game at the NJCAA Division II World Series in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Coach Meleah Howard and the Wolves went 2-0 on Wednesday to keep their hopes alive of defending their national championship.

CLCC needed only five innings to eliminate their MACCC rivals from East Central on Wednesday morning as bats got hot early for the Wolves.

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Leadoff batter Madison Moak started the game with a double and then scored when the next batter, Abby Grace Richardson, blasted a stand-up double herself.

Co-Lin batted around the order in the first inning, forcing ECCC to change pitchers, as they jumped out to an 8-0 lead.

Moak, a product of Brookhaven Academy and Southern Miss signee, continued to have the hottest bat in the lineup as she hit two home runs in the win to go along with the double. Since the postseason began with the Region 23 Tournament, Moak has hit six home runs for her team.

Richardson, also a Brookhaven Academy alum and Mississippi State signee, hit a solo home run as well.

Moak had a five RBI game while Richardson had two RBIs and Olivia Banes (Simpson Academy), Zykeria Cole (Simpson Academy), and Bailee Goodson (Brookhaven Academy) had one RBI each.

Starting pitcher Cara Biswell (Brandon High) moved to 21-5 on the season with the win in the circle.

The victory moved Co-Lin on to face Parkland College out of Champagne, Illinois. The Parkland Cobras (58-6) began the tournament as the top seed but were sent to the loser’s bracket on Wednesday after a 4-2 loss to no. 9 seed St. Johns River.

Co-Lin beat Parkland last season on the way to the 2023 National Championship and the teams also played earlier this season, with Parkland winning 6-4 in an extra inning. That game was the third of the season for CLCC and was played in Vicksburg at a tournament hosted by Hinds CC.

On Wednesday, Co-Lin got an outstanding start in the circle from freshman hurler Emily Richarde. Richarde, a native of Lakeland, Tennessee, needed 88 pitches to get through seven innings. She gave up seven hits and one earned run via a solo home run in the sixth inning. Richarde struck out three, but more importantly, only walked one batter of the 29 she faced.

The Co-Lin defense helped her out by playing an error free ball game.

Banes hit an RBI single in the second to get Co-Lin on the board. In the third, the lead went to 2-0 after Taylor Efferson (Holden, Louisiana) hit a solo home run.

The final two runs came in the fifth for Co-Lin when Cole singled up the middle to plate two more runs.

The 11-hit attack for Co-Lin against Parkland was led by Loyd Star product Carson Hughey, who went 3-for-3 at the plate. Efferson, Banes and freshman catcher Kinley Ainsworth (Puckett High) had two hits each. Cole and Emeri Warren (Leake Academy) also hit safely for the Wolves in the win.

Rock Valley, located in Rockford, Illinois, got its tournament started out with a 2-1 win over Lake Michigan on Monday. On Tuesday, the Golden Eagles stunned no. 4 seeded Jones College via a 4-1 score.

Jones was eliminated on Wednesday after losing 7-3 to Des Moines Area Community College.

Rock Valley suffered its first loss of the tournament on Wednesday after being beaten 3-0 by Louisburg.

Louisburg (54-6), Kirkwood (53-12), Johnson County (46-10) and St. Johns River (52-15) are the four remaining undefeated teams in the bracket after the conclusion of play on Wednesday.

Co-Lin and Rock Valley met earlier this season in Niceville, Florida. The Wolves opened the game that day on March 11 with a three-run first inning and went on to win 7-5. Howard used three pitchers in that victory over Rock Valley, none of them being Biswell or Richarde.