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Northeast Mississippi Community College women’s softball team kicked off the 2013 season in grand fashion with a pair of wins and a tie at the Rush Invitational in Meridian on February 15-16.
Northeast (2-1-1) opened the two-day affair with a 6-3 win over host Meridian in eight innings before battling undefeated Copiah-Lincoln to a 3-3 tie in the nightcap of the first day.
Bishop State (Ala.) handed Northeast its first loss of the season via a 5-3 setback but the Lady Tigers bounced back and rallied for a 5-3 walk-off win against Southwest Tennessee in their final game of the tournament.
In the season-opener against Meridian, Northeast bounced back with a run in the top of the seventh inning to force extra frames but the Lady Tigers did not take long in securing the victory.
Sophomore Ellen Tarrant of New Albany connected on a Jasmine Cherry offering and staked the Lady Tigers to a 6-3 lead with a three-run home run that scored Mirah Terry of Itawamba and Becky Robinson of Walnut and herself.
Bianca Chagolla pitched the final three innings against Meridian to earn her first collegiate win by striking out two and not allowing a hit or an error in the final three frames.
In the tie against Copiah-Lincoln, which entered 7-0 at the time, Chagolla did the work at the plate and on the mound as well.
Chagolla accounted for two of the Lady Tigers eight hits – both were doubles -- on the night and pitched four innings allowing just three hits, two runs while striking out a pair in tying the Lady Wolves 3-3.
In her first day of collegiate action, Chagolla, a Riverside, California native, finished 5-for-7 at the plate with two doubles, a pair of runs batted in (RBI) and one run scored and pitched seven of the Lady Tigers 13 innings, earning a win while striking out four and giving up just two runs and three hits for Northeast.
After a setback to Bishop State (Ala.) to start the second day of competition, Northeast capped the Rush Invitational with a two-run win against Southwest Tennessee in dramatic fashion.
Sophomore Erin Dixson of Amherst, New York came on in relief of Chagolla and pitched the final two innings against the Lady Salukis to earn her first win of the year.
Dixson limited Southwest Tennessee to just a pair of hits as Northeast rallied for four runs in its final two at bats to claim its second victory in as many days.
After battling to a 1-1 tie through the first five-and-a-half innings, Northeast posted a two-spot in the home half of the sixth only to see Southwest Tennessee rally and tie the game at 3-3 in the seventh.
Glissen made sure the Lady Tigers ended the game in regulation when the freshman from Kossuth connected on a double to left field off Haylee Power and chased home Gracie Michael and Becky Robinson, who had both singled earlier in the frame.
Northeast will look to build on its momentum from the Rush Invitational as the Lady Tigers host their annual TigerFest Tournament at Booneville Westside City Park on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23 in what will serve as Northeast’s home opener of the season.