Wallace State tops Salt Lake 9-6 at NJCAA World Series

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The Wallace State Lions defeated Salt Lake in their first game at the NJCAA World Series in Oxford Monday. (WSCC)

OXFORD, Ala. — The Lions’ bats were on fire during their first game at this year’s National Junior College Athletic Association Division I World Series. The 11th seeded Lions defeated the 6th seeded Salt Lake Bruins 9-6 at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

Wallace State took the lead in the first inning and never relinquished it. The Lions plated three runs after lead-off batter Caroline Cartron singled to left field and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. A double from sophomore Laura Leigh Wheeler brought Cartron in to score and a homerun by freshman Bayleigh Rouse, her first of the game, allowed them both to round the bases and stretched the lead to 3-0.

The Bruins answered with a pair of runs points in the bottom of the first, cutting the lead to 3-2.

Back to back singles from Cartron and Wheeler gave the Lions a pair of runners in the fifth. Rouse capitalized with her second homerun of the game, putting three more runs on the board and making it a 6-2 game.

The Bruins responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fifth to trim the lead to 6-4.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Wheeler drew a walk to reach first and advanced to second on a single from freshman Haley Hollyhand. Sophomore Jessie Taylor then tripled to plate Wheeler and Hollyhand, adding two more runs to the lead before a single from freshman Brandy Phillips allowed Taylor to score and make it 9-4.

The Bruins put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Lions and Wallace State advanced with a 9-6 win.

Rouse led the way at the plate with five RBIs on two homeruns. Taylor finished with a pair of RBIs and Phillips and Wheeler added one each.

Emily Simon earned the win for the Lions after pitching four innings. Her sister Katie Simon came in to toss the final three innings in relief.

The Lions will play again Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the third round of play.