EMCC hires softball assistant
SCOOBA – Nettleton native and former Itawamba Community College and Blue Mountain College softball standout Kimmy Nicholson has been chosen East Mississippi Community College's assistant softball coach, as announced Friday by first-year head softball coach Austin McNair.
Nicholson rejoins McNair's coaching staff after the tandem spent the previous two years working together on Pontotoc High School's softball staff, where the Warriors claimed the Clarion Ledger's Class 4A MHSAA All-Sports Award during each of the past two seasons to extend their current streak to five consecutive years. On the softball field, the 2017 Pontotoc fast-pitch squad went undefeated in district play and 22-8 overall en route to claiming the District 2-4A championship and advancing to the Class 4A North Half playoffs. The year prior, the Lady Warriors were district runners-up.
“I am so blessed to be provided with such an amazing coaching opportunity at a great place like EMCC,” Nicholson said. “On top of that, I get to once again coach alongside one of my greatest mentors.”
Following a productive prep career at Nettleton High School, Nicholson was a four-year starter in the collegiate ranks split between Itawamba Community College and Blue Mountain College. A .415 career hitter in helping lead former ICC head coach Chad Case's Lady Indians to a pair of 28-win seasons, Nicholson capped her Itawamba career as a third-team NJCAA All-American after hitting .465 as a sophomore and ranking tied for fourth nationally with 48 stolen bases. Along with earning NJCAA AllRegion 23 and MACJC All-State honors that same year, she was tabbed the MACJC North Division's Most Valuable Player and Best Offensive Player.
While stealing bases at a 96-percent success rate (63 of 66) during her two seasons at ICC, Nicholson batted .368 as a freshman starter in the outfield and leadoff hitter for the Lady Indians. She also totaled 102 runs scored and 136 hits, including 16 extra-base hits, during her Itawamba playing stint.
Nicholson continued her collegiate career within the Magnolia State as a two-time all-conference centerfielder at Blue Mountain College, where she posted a .265 career batting average and stole 46 bases in 50 attempts (92 percent) for coach Kevin Barefield's Toppers. In 96 career appearances at the NAIA level, Nicholson also scored 74 career runs and had 86 hits, including 14 extra-base hits.
Prior to excelling on the collegiate level, Nicholson was a fast-pitch and slow-pitch softball standout for coach Chris Kidd at Nettleton High School. While helping lead the Lady Tigers to back-to-back Class 3A North Half championships and consecutive Division 3-3A titles in 2008 and 2009, Nicholson capped her outstanding prep career by collecting Division 3-3A Player of the Year honors as a senior on Nettleton's 2009 Class 3A fast-pitch state championship team. She also made the Daily Journal's All-Area team and was selected as a Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star after hitting .494 with 29 stolen bases as a senior. The Lady Tigers also advanced to the Class 3A fast-pitch state title game during her junior campaign.
Nicholson also achieved success away from the softball field during her high school days as a two-time Class 3A North Half powerlifting champion in her classification. After finishing fourth at the state meet in the 123-pound weight class as a junior, she moved up to the 132-pound weight class to earn state runner-up honors during her senior year.
“I am very excited that coach Nicholson has joined our softball staff in becoming a part of this great East Mississippi Community College family,” McNair added. “Kimmy's passion for the sport and knowledge of the game will make her a tremendous role model and mentor for our players to follow.”
With a bachelor's degree in biology from Blue Mountain College, Nicholson taught physical science in addition to her softball coaching duties the past three years at Pontotoc High School. She was also very involved in community service work during her collegiate playing days by visiting local elementary schools to promote literacy as well as volunteering at softball camps and clinics.
Nicholson is the daughter of Darel and Jennifer Nicholson of Nettleton.