Lady Wildcats win pair

Published 5:00 am Friday, April 3, 2009

Special to the Item

POPLARVILLE — Pearl River’s Lady Wildcats grabbed first place in the MACJC South Division softball championship derby here Wednesday with a 3-0, 10-2 doubleheader sweep over Hinds.

PRCC improved to 18-6 overall and 7-1 in division play with the wins and are on a positive track for the hosting rights of April 24-25’s MACJC State Tournament.

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Mississippi Gulf Coast, which hosts the Lady Wildcats Monday in a 4 p.m. make up doubleheader (rained out March 25), rests in second place at 9-3; followed by Copiah-Lincoln at 10-4, Southwest Mississippi at 4-8, Hinds at 3-11, and Jones County at 2-8.

The top four finishers in the North and South divisions will earn berths in state tournament, which will be hosted by the South Division champion.

“We made a pretty good showing of ourselves this afternoon,” said PRCC head coach Leigh White. “With all these rain postponements, we hadn’t played since March 19 and to be quite honest, I was worried going in to the Hinds games.”

In the first game, the two teams battled to a scoreless stalemate for the first four-and-a-half innings, but the Lady Wildcats went up 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth when Bethany Russell of D’Iberville High led off with a double off the left field fence and scored when Miranda Blanchet of Pearl River Central reached on an error.

In the bottom of the sixth, Virginia Blanchet of Pearl River Central led off with a base hit down the third-base line, setting the stage for Baleigh Volking’s two-run homer out of left to end the scoring.

Hinds managed to load the bases in the first inning and left a total of six base runner stranded during the game. Pearl River left only three runners on.

Starter Corinne Fraychineaud of Slidell, La., (3-2) got the win in going the distance on the mound, giving up five hits, striking out five, and walking one; while Hinds starter Katie Williamson also went the distance, giving up six hits and striking out one.

Brooklyn Mendez led HCC at the plate with a pair of base hits, while Kelsey Brown, Kaci Flaharty, and Haley Stevens all had singles.

Volking, a freshman shortstop who prepped at Enterprise High, led the Lady Wildcats with her two-run smash; while Laurin Locke of Petal High and Russell both doubled, and Miranda Blanchet, Viriginia Blanchet, and Fraychineaud all had base hits.

Pearl River played error free, while Hinds committed one defensive miscue.

In the nightcap, PRCC went up 4-0 in the first inning and never looked back. The Lady Wildcats added solo runs in the fourth and fifth frames and iced the win via the eight-run rule with a four-run barrage in the bottom of the sixth.

Hinds scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth.

Starter Molly Stell of Florence, Ala., (5-2) got the win in going the six-inning distance, giving up five hits, striking out one, and walking four. Hinds starter Crystal Dearman also went the distance, striking out two, and walking seven.

Brown led the Lady Eagles at the plate with a solo homer, while Dearman had an RBI-double and Brook Barrett and Karleigh Johnson both singled.

Volking paced Pearl River’s 13-hit attack with three singles, while Audrey Gore of Sumrall High doubled and singled (two RBIs), Miranda Blanchet and Russell had two singles each, Virginia Blanchet doubled, and Katie Barrett (one RBI), Locke, and Mykeal Maes (one RBI) of Bay High all had base hits.

Again, the Lady Wildcats played error free, while Hinds committed three errors.

PRCC returns to action Thursday with an MACJC South Division make up date with Jones at 5 p.m. Following Monday’s make up doubleheader at Perkinston, the Lady Wildcats travel to Southwest Mississippi in Summit Tuesday (5 p.m. doubleheader) and to Co-Lin in Wesson Thursday (1 p.m. doubleheader).

Friday, April 3’s doubleheader against LSU-Eunice in Eunice, La., was cancelled to make room for make up games, says White.