Kylee Brown records career-best 12 strikeouts
Photo: Kylee Brown struck out 12 Mississippi Delta batters and held the Trojans to one base hit, as Northwest picked up the shutout and sweep of the Trojans in Game 2. (Credit NJCAA)
Credit: Northwest Mississippi CC Sports Information
Northwest had a lot to be proud of in its 12-2 and 7-0 softball victories at Mississippi Delta on Tuesday afternoon, March 21.
Offensively, the Rangers combined for 27 base hits in the road sweep, while freshman pitcher Neely Cooper recorded her third career win in the circle.
In the finale, sophomore Kylee Brown put on a pitching clinic, striking out a career-high 12 batters in a complete-game shutout.
Northwest, still ranked No. 4 in the nation in this week’s NJCAA rankings, improved to 17-1 on the season and 6-0 in the MACCC with the sweep. Mississippi Delta dropped to 1-27 on the season and 0-8 against conference competition.
Next up for the Rangers is a road tilt on Saturday, March 25 at East Central, scheduled for 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. A live broadcast of both games can be found on www.ecccathletics.com.
Game 1 – #4 Northwest 12, Mississippi Delta 2 (5 inn.)
Northwest wasted no time getting on the scoreboard early and often in the Rangers’ run-rule win, scoring four runs alone in the top of the first inning.
With one out in the top of the first, Kaylee Owens got on base with an infield single and came around to score on a double from McKaylee “K.K.” Polk. That was followed by a single from Kara Johnson, who later scored with Polk off Neely Cooper’s two-run double to center.
Leading 3-0, the Rangers capped off the first inning with a grounder from Bailey Russell, scoring Cooper off a subsequent infield error on the same play. Northwest picked up where they left off in the top of the second, when Owens delivered another single to score Reese Vanlandingham, stretching the lead to 5-0.
Northwest would add another pair of runs in the same frame, as Polk hit her 12th homer of the season to score Owens, pushing the Rangers’ advantage to 7-0.
Although the Trojans kept Northwest off the board in the third, the Rangers more than made up for it in the fourth, scoring five runs to make it a 12-0 lead. Mississippi Delta would get two back in the bottom of the fifth, but it wasn’t nearly enough to spark a rally or prevent the run-rule.
Northwest crushed 14 base hits in the win, highlighted by a pair of 3-for-3 performances by Owens and Polk. Cooper and Vanlandingham also finished with two hits apiece, with Cooper also earning the win in the circle, striking out four batters in three full innings of work.
Game 2 – #4 Northwest 7, Mississippi Delta 0
Thirteen base hits and a 12-strikeout performance by Kylee Brown told the story of Game 2, as Northwest clinched the sweep of Mississippi Delta.
Northwest scored a pair in the top of the first, thanks to an RBI-double from Polk and an RBI-single from Johnson. Polk then added more to the Rangers’ lead with a solo homer in the third, her 13th home run of the season, making it a 3-0 advantage.
Mississippi Delta left Northwest scoreless in the fourth, but the Rangers made up for it with three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. Vanlandingham and Shelby Payne led off the top of the fifth with back-to-back singles and Owens smashed a three-run homer to center, pushing the lead to 6-0.
The final run came off the bat of Vanlandingham in the sixth, who scored Amber Racca from second with a single to the outfield.
Meanwhile, Brown made quick work of Mississippi Delta in the circle, holding the Trojans to one base hit in a complete seven-inning performance. Vanlandingham and Polk each finished 3-for-4 at the plate, while Johnson, Owens and Payne collected two base hits each.