The Lady Diamond Warriors were not as fortunate in the second contest as the visiting Lady Wildcats also posted an 8-0 decision to earn a split of the MACJC South Division doubleheader.
Both squads continue to be deadlocked for second place in the division with 9-5 records. East Central is 24-8 overall while Pearl River sports a 15-11 overall mark.
Buckley, a sophomore first baseman from Neshoba Central High School, leads the NJCAA Division II with 16 home runs.
She also singled in the third and fourth innings.
Haylee Stephens also had a productive outing at the plate in the opener, as the Union High School product slapped a two-run triple in the fifth inning. She also scored a run.
Anna-Katherine Nowell of Leake Academy also tripled and contributed a single as well. She also scored twice.
Other hitters were Morgan Porter of Enterprise, double, single and RBI; Mallory Turner of West Lauderdale, two singles and RBI; and Lindsey Beard of Clarkdale and Karoline Holsonback of South Lamar (Ala.) High School, singles each. Turner also scored twice. Christen Benson of Brookhaven also scored a run.
Kendra Wilson went the distance to record the victory. She allowed just two hits and fanned two batters. She also walked a pair. Wilson is a product of South Lamar (Ala.) High School.
The second contest belonged to the Lady Wildcats who cruised to the easy victory.
EC managed just one hit – a single by Amber McBroom of Brandon.
Makayla Kelly took the loss, as the Nederland (Texas) High School product allowed eight runs on 10 hits. She fanned a batter and walked one.
Next up for the Lady Diamond Warriors is a matchup with division leading Jones County Junior College Saturday, March 29. Doubleheader action begins at 2 p.m. on the Ellisville campus.
EC’s softball program is led by head coach Kristin Chaney, assistant Courtney Nunn and volunteer assistant Kasie Buckley.