Credit: Northwest Mississippi CC Sports Information
Following a week filled with two historic performances, the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference has chosen Northwest baseball ace Brooks Rice and softball slugger McKaylee “K.K.” Polk for weekly honors.
Rice was voted as the conference’s baseball Pitcher of the Week, while Polk garnered recognition for softball Player of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday morning, March 14. The awards are nominated and voted by the sports information directors from each member school.
Rice put on a strikeout clinic in last week’s 7-0 midweek victory against East Mississippi, tossing a rare 15 strikeouts in seven complete innings. The Madison native became the first Northwest pitcher to total 15 strikeouts in a game since Major Leaguer and Northwest Sports Hall of Famer Cody Reed in April 2013.
For the season, Rice has a 3.57 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched, totaling 28 strikeouts against 14 walks. He has a 2-0 record on the mound, earning wins against Jackson State (Tenn.) and East Mississippi.
Meanwhile, Polk smashed three homers for seven RBIs, including a grand slam, in a 17-1 run-rule blowout of Southwest Mississippi last Saturday. The first home run for the Senatobia product came in the bottom of the first, a solo shot that broke the program’s career home run record, previously held by Saige Koczka’s 26 homers from 2020-22.
Polk has picked up right where she left off from last year, currently batting .545 on the season with seven doubles, a triple, 11 home runs and 29 RBIs.
Both players will suit up for their respective teams at home this week, with the Northwest baseball team (13-8, 1-1 MACCC) hosting Parkland College on Wednesday, March 15 for a single nine-inning contest, scheduled for a 2 P.M. first pitch. The fourth-ranked Rangers (13-1, 2-0 MACCC) will host No. 7 Copiah-Lincoln for a huge conference showdown on Saturday, March 18 at 1/3 P.M.