The Northeast Mississippi Community College softball program is adding to its already lengthy list of accomplishments from the 2023 season with one of the top scholastic honors in the country. The Tigers were recognized as one of the top 10 academic teams across all two-year college divisions and organizations by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
In addition, a total of 14 players on Northeast’s roster earned Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete distinction for sustaining an individual grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. “It’s a true testament to our athletes for their commitment to their future,” said Tigers head coach Jody Long. “Our kids understand that they’re expected to go to class and they’re expected to graduate. We don’t have any issues and I think that has a lot to do with our success center.”
Northeast checked in at No. 10 on the dot with an overall GPA of 3.64. The Tigers were the only member of the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) that received this award. Leading the way for Northeast was five ladies with an impeccable 4.0 GPA. They are Alexie Griffin (Atoka, Tenn.), Brianne Locke (Starkville), Ava Meeks (Kossuth), Emme Muizers (Hernando) and Allie Windham (Thrasher).
A majority of the Tigers’ battery made the cut, including Madison Bowman (Nashville, Tenn.), Emma Dempsey (Belgreen, Ala.), Natalie McKinney (Saltillo), Janna Shaw (Hernando), Meeks and Muizers. Three of Northeast’s starting options in the outfield secured this accolade in Emma Callicutt (New Albany), India Ivy (Tupelo) and Elisa Claire Young (Thrasher), who hit a team-best nine home runs this spring. Rounding out the list of honorees for the Tigers are freshmen infielders Caitlyn Carnathan (Saltillo) and Annaleise Rogers (Red Bay, Ala.).
All but two of Northeast’s 20 players accumulated a GPA better than 3.0 during the 2022-23 school year. The Tigers opened the season by setting a new program record with 21 consecutive victories in non-conference play. That hot start propelled Northeast to its first-ever 40-plus win campaign. Northeast qualified for its 20th all-time postseason appearance with a second straight trip to the region tournament. The Tigers were outstanding at home with a 31-3 ledger at The Plex.
The Tigers were also acknowledged as an All-Academic team by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for the tenth straight year and for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.
2023 NEMCC softball team (top row, L-R) manager Blake Simon of Hernando, Katelynn King of Fulton, Natalie McKinney of Saltillo, Sarah Hindman of Birmingham, Ala., Anneleise Rogers of Red Bay, Ala., Brooklyn Bascomb of Kossuth, Ava Meeks of Kossuth, Madison Bowman of Nashville, Tenn., (middle row, L-R) Cassidy Duskin of Huntsville, Ala., Janna Shaw of Hernando, Caitlyn Carnathan of Saltillo, Emma Callicutt of New Albany, Bre Harmon of Hatley, Charly Clanton of Columbus, (front row, L-R) India Ivy of Tupelo, Alexie Griffin of Atoka, Tenn., Emme Muizers of Hernando, Emma Dempsey of Belgreen, Ala., Elisa Claire Young of Thrasher, Brianne Locke of Starkville and Allie Windham of Thrasher. (PHOTO: Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)
-Blake Long, Sports Information Director NEMCC