By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
West Harrison defeated Pearl River Central in two straight games over the weekend to eliminate the Lady Devils from the Class 5A South State fast-pitch softball playoffs.
The Lady Hurricanes won at home in Gulfport 13-0 Friday night and then took a 12-0 win in Carriere Saturday to wrap up the best-of-three opening round playoff series.
West Harrison now moves on to play ---. Pearl River Central wraps up its season with a 1-14 mark.
The game was the final one for five Lady Devil seniors, a group that helped guide PRC to back-to-back state playoff appearances. Krista Davis, Emily Kennedy, Caroline Lumpkin, Haliegh Ratliff and Ronita Wynn comprised that senior class.
Claire Lumpkin had a pair of hits in the two playoff losses, while Brooklyn Kirk had a hit as well. Kennedy was the losing pitcher.
Also, both Picayune and Poplarville begin their quest for a state championship later this week. Both the Lady Tide and Lady Hornets are district champions.
Picayune begins the Class 5A South State playoffs on the road Friday night. The Lady Tide will face either Pascaoula or West Jones, and that series will be decided tonight. Picayune will play on the road Friday night for one game and then host one or two games if needed Saturday afternoon.
Poplarville, meawhile, will open the lass 4A South State playoffs on the road at Quitman Thursday night at 6 p.m. The Lady Hornets will then host the Lady Panthers for one or possibly two games if needed on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
Poplarville is coming off three staright shutout wins. The Lady Hornets sept a doubleheader on the road at Sumrall Saturday with a pair of 9-0 wins to move to 24-2 on the season. Just before that, Poplarville wrapped up Region 8-4A play with a 13-0 win over Bay High.
Rachel Hickman picked up all three pitching wins, including a 2-hit, 14 strikeout performance in the opener against Sumrall. She is 23-2 on the year.
Against Bay, Branda Northrop had four hits while Hickman, Kristen Herndon and Taylor Pierce all drove in two runs apiece. Hickman and Maryah Davis each had a pair of hits as well, while Shelby McGill had a double.
In the first win over Sumrall, Kristen Herndon had three hits including a double, and Hickman drove in three runs. Davis, Northrop, Hickman, Kaitlyn Clark and Breanna Herndon each had a pair of hits apiece in the winning 14 hit attack.
In the nightcap, Clark had three hits and drove in three runs while Northrop added two hits and Hickman drove in two runs as well. Hickman and Sam Gentry each had a double.