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PRCC splits with Gulf Coast

PERKINSTON — Visiting Pearl River Community College took a tough loss in the opener of a South Division softball doubleheader with arch-rival Gulf Coast Wednesday afternoon.

The Lady Wildcats bounced back in the nightcap, however.

PRCC fell 1-0 in the opener, despite an outstanding pitching performance by Poplarville’s Rachel Hickman, before bouncing back with a 4-1 victory in the second contest.

PRCC is now 13-7 overall and 7-1 in division play, while MGCCC is 18-10 and 5-4.

In the first game, things were scoreless for the first four-and-a-half innings before Gulf Coast’s Cat Campbell led off the bottom of the fifth, while base hits by Dani Craft and Emily Davis loaded the bases. Campbell scored the game’s only run off a single by Brooke Gaston.

Paige Breal (4-1) got the win in going the distance, giving up one hit, striking out six and walking three, while Rachel Hickman (7-3) was the losing pitcher. She also hurled the distance, giving up six hits striking out two, walking two, and hitting a batter.

Kelsea Lewis singled in the fourth for The River’s only hit of the contest, while the host Lady Bulldogs finished with six singles off of Hickman.

In the nightcap, Pearl River went up 2-0 in the top of the first, while Gulf Coast scored its only run of the contest in the bottom of the frame. The second and third innings were scoreless, but PRCC finished the game with solo runs in the fourth and sixth innings to take the win.

Starter Ashley Hawkins of Theodore (Ala.) High (4-3) got the win in her three-and-two-thirds innings on the mound, giving up six hits and hitting a batter, while Hickman relieved in the fourth and closed it out. She pitched three-and-a-third, giving up three hits, striking out three, and walking one.

Lady Bulldog starter Hallie Frenn (1-2) got the loss in going the distance, giving up nine hits, striking out four, and walking two.

Lewis blasted a two-run homer in the first inning and smacked two singles to paced the Lady Wildcats’ nine-hit attack, while Emily Jackson of Theodore (Ala.) High doubled and singled (two RBIs). Megan Scronce of Petal High doubled and Allie Flint of Madison Central High (one RBI), Hickman, and Hannah Holloway of Petal High all had base hits.

MGCCC also finished with nine hits, led by Jamie Desporte with a double and a single, while Butler (one RBI) and Ashley Hickman had two singles each. Craft, Sarah Dodd, and Gaston all had base hits.

PRCC played error free, while Gulf Coast had one defensive miscue.

Pearl River and Mississippi Gulf Coast eye a South Division rematch Tuesday, April 8 (3 p.m. doubleheader) in Lady Wildcat Stadium in Poplarville.

Pearl River returns to action Tuesday when MACJC non-division foe Holmes visits Lady Wildcat Stadium Monday, March 17 for a 3 p.m. doubleheader before nationally ranked Jones County visits Wednesday, March 19, for a 4 p.m. twin bill.