Freshman Braelyn Boykin pitched a four-hitter in the nightcap to help the East Central Community College Lady Warriors defeat the Southwest Lady Bears 2-1 and salvage a split in MACJC softball action Tuesday, April 9, in Summit.
East Central tried to rally from an eight-run deficit in the opener, but fell short 9-7.
With the split, East Central moves to 15-11 overall and 8-6 in league play. The Lady Warriors are in seventh place in the MACJC and in contention for postseason play. Southwest is now 22-7 overall and 9-5 in the league.
It was the second straight strong performance in the circle for Boykin, who prepped at Mize. She gave up just the one run on four hits while walking just one batter. She needed just 83 pitches to get the win. Boykin outdueled Southwest's Jade Latham, who was named the MACJC Pitcher of the Week earlier in the day.
Boykin also picked up the win in her previous start, a complete game 4-3 win over No. 9 Gulf Coast on April 3.
East Central managed six hits in the win, including a solo homer from freshman third baseman Hannah Dufault (Hurley, East Central) to give the Lady Warriors a 1-0 lead in the fourth. A two-out double by freshman left fielder Olivia Houston (Northwest Rankin) in the top of the fifth scored freshman second baseman Kaylee Webb with what would be the winning run. Webb (Ruston, La.) had singled. The Lady Bears' only run came on a two-out error in the bottom of the sixth.
The Lady Warriors fell behind 9-1 after four innings in the opening game. Three East Central errors contributed to the Southwest runs as only three of the nine were earned.
East Central scored three times in both the top of the fifth and the top of the sixth to pull within 9-7. Freshman catcher Anna McNeer (Canton Academy) hit a three-run homer in the fifth, bringing home Webb and freshman center fielder Parker Breland (Union), who both walked. In the sixth, Webb drove in a run with a single and sophomore shortstop Annika Jones (Leake Academy) drove in two more with another single.
The Lady Warriors were unable to keep the rally going in the seventh as they were set down in order.
East Central's other run in the opener came on an RBI double by Jones in the third.
East Central returns home Friday, April 12, to face Holmes in a doubleheader that begins at 3 p.m. at the Softball Park in Decatur.
The Lady Warriors will play two doubleheaders on the road next week against nationally ranked teams. They will face No. 10 Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, April 15, before traveling to Booneville to face No. 11 Northeast at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17.
Most East Central home softball games can be heard on WKOZ "Cruisin" 98.3 or watched via live stream video at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media.