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PRC softball defeats Purvis to stay undefeated

In their second game of the season, Pearl River Central’s Lady Blue Devils defeated the Purvis Lady Tornadoes 10-6 Thursday night in a tight game that involved some clutch hits.

Callie Lee had a base clearing double in the top of the fifth inning, while Izzy Martin’s sacrifice fly allowed a run to score in the top of the sixth.

Madison Smith started on the mound for the Lady Blue Devils and was replaced in the third inning by Jazmin Robertson who pitched the rest of the game.

The two pitchers only gave up two walks and had three strikeouts.

The victory came just two days after PRC defeated West Harrison 9-7 in a similarly close game.

The win over Purvis was closer than it needed to be because of some defensive errors and miscues on the base paths, but Head Coach Tony Labella said his athletes did enough to earn the hard fought win.

“I definitely think we’re getting better. The positive is that I thought we competed hard and I’m not big into the ‘rah-rah’ stuff, but I thought the dugout showed a will to win and we got some clutch hits,” Labella said.

The team’s youth means that growing pains were expected, especially in this early portion of the season.

The ups and downs the squad has dealt with so far are just part of the reality that comes with having an inexperienced team.

“Some of the things we didn’t think would come together quickly have gone better than we thought, and then some other stuff we thought wouldn’t be an issue has caused problems,” Labella said.

PRC is looking to have those early season issues sorted out sooner rather than later with the short buffer period before the start of district play winding down.

The Lady Blue Devils will take on the Hattiesburg Lady Tigers in the team’s first district game on March 4, and Labella knows how important it is to start district with a win.

“It’s been so long off the field we want to get better quicker.”

“Our first district game is next Thursday against Hattiesburg, so we don’t have time to play around. If you start 0-1 in our district with the teams we have you’re in trouble,” Labella said.

However, reinforcements are on the way.

Three players who were part of the basketball team will now join the squad since the basketball season has ended.

The addition of those athletes will create more depth to the bench, and allow Labella more freedom in creating lineups.

The team has to adjust depending on who’s pitching, so having the extra players join for early season games will help the coaching staff determine who deserves to start when the team travels to Hattiesburg.

“I think we have to solidify a couple spots in the field. We’ve had some different combinations, and had three different lineups based on who pitches.”

“We’re trying to see when this girl pitches what our best combination is to play defense behind her. You kind of get an idea in practice, but it’s nothing like a game and seeing how they react in-game,” Labella said.