The Lady Bobcats responded with a 9-5 decision in the second contest to earn a split of the MACJC South Division matchup, which was originally set for Saturday but was rescheduled due to wet grounds.
East Central’s record now stands at 24-7 overall and 9-5 in league play, while No. 2 Jones County sports a 27-1 overall mark and continues to lead the division at 13-1.
Buckley now has 17 homers and continues to lead NJCAA Division II. She also has 55 RBIs and is ranked among the top run producers. She had 49 RBIs prior to the Jones County double header and was ranked fifth in the nation.
In addition to her three-run blast, Buckley was credited with another RBI in the opener. She is a product of Neshoba Central High School.
Stephens also contributed a double and single and finished with two RBIs. She is a product of Union High School.
Also having productive outings at the plate were Morgan Porter of Enterprise, two doubles; Lindsey Beard of Clarkdale, double, single and RBI; and Anna-Katherine Nowell of Leake Academy, Mallory Turner of West Lauderdale, and Karoline Holsonback of South Lamar (Ala.) High School, two singles each.
Nowell and Turner also scored two runs each. Nikki Triplett of Forest and Christen Benson of Brookhaven scored a run a piece.
Kendra Wilson went the distance to record the victory. She allowed six earned runs on 10 hits in the seven-inning battle. She also fanned three batters and walked five.
The Lady Diamond Warriors out-hit home standing Jones County by an 11-10 margin in the second game but were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities.
Buckley again was the top run producer, as she slapped two singles and knocked in two runs. She also scored a run.
Turner led in hits with three singles and scored twice.
Other sluggers were Stephens, two singles and RBI; Beard and Porter, RBI singles each; and Nowell and Kaylin Hopkins of Louisville, singles each. Nowell also scored twice.
Makayla Kelly took the loss. She went six innings and allowed four earned runs on 10 hits. She also fanned three batters and walked three. Kelly is a product of Nederland (Texas) High School.
EC battles Meridian Community College Wednesday, April 2. The twin bill starts at 3 p.m. on the Decatur campus.
The Lady Diamond Warriors are led by head coach Kristin Chaney, assistant Courtney Nunn and volunteer assistant Kasie Buckley.