PRC’s softball team wins region for the fifth straight season

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

CARRIERE — The Lady Devils defeated Hattiesburg 13-0 in four innings Thursday afternoon.

With the win, Pearl River Central softball’s team secured the number one seed of Region 7-5A heading into the state playoffs. This is the fifth straight season PRC (19-2, 5-0 Region 7-5A) has won its region softball championship.

“We came out hitting slow at the beginning but we picked it up as the game played along,” PRC Head Softball Coach Tony LaBella said. “Hattiesburg is a team that can give you some trouble, so I’m glad we stayed focused on what we needed to do in order to win the game.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In the first inning, Taylor Kauzlarich and Shelby Archer scored one run each to give the Lady Devils a 2-0 lead.

During the bottom of the third, Alahna Lee scored for PRC on an RBI by Kauzlarich. Moments later, a wild pitch by Hattiesburg’s Barnes Keely permitted Kauzlarich to reach home plate and extend the team’s lead to 4-0. Madison Gower also scored for PRC via an RBI by Archer. Just before the end of the third, Keigan Pearson batted a homerun into center field. The score by Pearson gave the Lady Devils a 6-0 lead.

At the beginning of the bottom of the fourth inning, Jayden Davis and Kauzlarich scored for PRC after a double by Archer. One play later, another wild pitch by Keely allowed PRC’s Gower to reach home plate and give the Lady Devils a 9-0 lead. Three batters later, Jade Latham was tagged out at first but Archer scored for PRC. With Pearson and Kassandra Valarezo on base, the game came to an end when Payton Lee batted a three-run home run into center field.

For the Lady Devils, Lee was 1-for-1 with a homerun and three RBIs, Archer was 1-for-2 with three RBIs, Kauzlarich went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Pearson was 1-for-2 with a homerun and an RBI. Latham pitched all four innings and struck out 12 of the 13 batters she faced.

PRC will play its last region game of the season Monday against Picayune. The junior varsity game will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity team.

“Our game on Monday will also be senior night for us. It’s going to be a bittersweet moment because even though we’ll honor the seniors for all their achievements, I’m going to miss this group,” LaBella said. “We need to be ready to play and win, so we can finish our district schedule the right way. Coach Kristi (Mitchell) has built Picayune into one of the best programs in the state, so I know the game on Monday will be challenging.”