By Stan Caldwell
PRCC Sports Information
POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College took two of its biggest softball victories of the season Friday, closing in on a playoff berth by sweeping an MACJC doubleheader from Northwest Mississippi at Senatobia.
The Wildcats used a nine-run outburst in the sixth inning to take the opener 14-2 in six innings, then came back with three runs in the eighth inning to win the nightcap 9-6.
The wins moved PRCC (21-17 overall) into a three-way tie with Copiah-Lincoln and Northeast for fifth place in the conference at 14-10 in league play. Northwest dropped to 16-16 and 8-12.
Pearl River jumped out in front in Game 1 with a run in the top of the first inning, taking advantage of the first two of eight Ranger errors in the game.
Sophomore Anna Grace Cooley (Lucedale) reached on a two-base error leading off, took third on a sacrifice and scored on another error.
Northwest scored twice in the third inning, but the Wildcats came right back in the top of the fourth to regain the lead with a pair of runs.
Sophomore Halle Melone (Oklahoma City) singled with one out and was sacrificed to second. She took third on a single by freshman Alyssa Pinero (Picayune) and scored on a single by sophomore Ramee Taylor (Hurley). Pinero scored on an error.
PRCC added two more runs in the fifth. Sophomore Sarah Depperschmidt (Hurley) singled and took third on a single by freshman Elizabeth Taggard (Picayune), and two runs subsequently came in on another error.
The Wildcats then sent 13 batters to the plate in the sixth, helped by four errors and two hit batters. Pinero drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, redshirt freshman Destiny Wesley (LaPlace, La.) drove in three runs with a double and sophomore Ilyssa Easton (Hurley) had an RBI single.
It was more of the same in the early going in Game 2, as Pearl River scored twice in the first inning with the help of an error to Cooley leading off. Taggard drove in a run with a double and freshman Dallas Blaker (Bay St. Louis) had a run-scoring double.
The Wildcats made it 5-0 in the third. Melone led off with a single and Blaker hit a two-run home run, followed by back-to-back doubles by Wesley and Easton to score another run.
The Rangers scored two runs in the bottom of the third, but the Wildcats answered with a run in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Pinero.
Northwest scored three runs in the fifth, helped by a pair of Wildcat errors, and two more errors allowed the Rangers to score an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh.
However, sophomore Olivia Holley (Biloxi) got a groundout for the third out of the inning with the winning run at third, sending the game to extra innings.
Cooley led off the eighth with a single, Depperschmidt reached on an error and Melone's double drove in two runs. PRCC added another run on a double by Pinero.
Northwest got runners to second and third with two out in the bottom of the eighth, but Holley got a strikeout for the final out of the game.
Holley (13-8) was the winning pitcher in both games for Pearl River. She allowed five hits and struck out three in four innings of relief in the nightcap
The Wildcats will have their home finale at 3 p.m. Wednesday against East Central and will complete the regular season next Saturday at Mississippi Delta.
(Photo by PRCC Sports Information)
Pearl River sophomore pitcher Olivia Holley winds up for a pitch during action earlier this season at Wildcat Stadium. Holley was the winning pitcher in both victories on Friday.
PRCC SOFTBALL LINESCORES
Friday at Senatobia
Pearl River 14, Northwest 2 (6 innings)
Pearl River 100 229 – 14 7 2
Northwest 002 000 – 2 6 8
PEARL RIVER (20-17, 13-10 in MACJC): Sarah Depperschmidt 1B; Elizabeth Taggard 1B; Halle Melone 1B; Alyssa Pinero 1B; Ramee Taylor 1B; Destiny Wesley 2B (3 RBIs); Ilyssa Easton 1B. WP – Olivia Holley (12-8). Also pitching – Dallas Blaker.
NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI (16-15, 8-11 in MACJC): Maddie Politte 1B; Harley Smith 2B, 1B; Sarah Johnson 1B; Morgan Gresham 1B; Ally Judkins 1B. LP – Harley Smith (9-9). Also pitching – Sarah Johnson.
Pearl River 9, Northwest 6 (8 innings)
Pearl River 203 100 03 – 9 14 6
Northwest 002 030 10 – 6 10 3
PEARL RIVER (19-17, 12-10 in MACJC): Anna Grace Cooley 1B; Sarah Depperschmidt 1B; Elizabeth Taggard 2B; Halle Melone 2B, 1B; Dallas Blaker HR (2-run), 2B (3 RBIs); Rylee Swilley 1B; Alyssa Pinero 2B, 1B; Ramee Taylor 2B; Destiny Wesley 2B, 1B; Ilyssa Easton 2B. WP – Olivia Holley (13-8). Also pitching – Dallas Blaker (starter); Rylee Swilley.
NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI (19-16, 12-10 in MACJC): Katie Brownlee 2 2B; Harley Smith 3 1B; Maddy Politte 1B; Alexis McShan 1B; Sarah Taylor 2B; Shelby Wilson 1B; Ally Judkins 1B. LP – Harley Smith (9-10). Also pitching – Katie Brownlee (starter).