Great Pitching, Defense Lifts Rangers to Sweep of East Mississippi
March 27, 2012By Kevin Maloney of NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SENATOBIA – Freshmen Casey Baddley and Emily Hatcher each went the distance in the circle, giving up just three runs combined, and the Northwest bats came alive for 20 hits as the Rangers swept visiting East Mississippi 5-2 and 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
Northwest moved into third place in the division with the sweep, improving to 17-7-1 overall and 8-4 in the north. East Mississippi fell to 10-19 overall and 4-8 in the north division.
The Rangers got to starting pitcher Shelby Sheppard early in game one, scoring two runs in the first off an RBI-single from Natalie Smock and taking advantage of an infield error to plate the second run.
Linsey Hebert made it a 3-0 game in the second with a two-out, RBI-double to left-center and Lauren Riley walked in a fourth run in the fourth.
EMCC cut the deficit in half with two runs in the sixth to make things interesting, using a solo home run from Stormy Lewis and an RBI-single from pinch-hitter Shelby Whitt to make it 4-2.
Hebert's second RBI-double in the bottom of the sixth increased the lead back out to 5-2, scoring Hillari Plummer after a leadoff bunt single.
That's all Baddley would need to seal the deal, retiring the Lady Lions in order in the seventh to earn the win and improve to a stellar 10-1 on the season. She scattered nine hits, two runs and a strikeout in throwing 100 pitches on the nose.
The top of the Ranger lineup finished 7-for-9 with three RBIs, led by Hebert's three hits.
In a 3-1 game two victory, Hatcher (6-4) matched her best pitching performance of the season back on Feb. 28 vs. Hinds by going the full seven innings and scattering six hits, one run and three strikeouts.
Northwest again scored two runs in its opening at-bat, using a third RBI-double from Hebert, who later came around to score on a passed ball.
Scoreless the next three innings, the Rangers tacked on their final run thanks to Codie Jones' RBI-single to left-center, capping a game two in which four players picked up multiple hits.
EMCC scored its lone run in the sixth on Haley Tutor's two-out single, making the final 3-1.
Winners in 11 of 15, Northwest will return to the diamond on Friday at 2 p.m. against East Central (21-8).