Pearl River turns in complete effort in sweep
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Coach Christie Meeks got a complete 14-inning effort from her Wildcats on Monday, topping Hinds 4-1 in Game 1 and 9-3 in Game 2.
“That’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for,” Meeks said. “It was a phenomenal sweep. The energy was out of the roof. That’s something we’ve been pushing for because these girls play with a lot of energy. They were great on defense and on offense they were fantastic.
“We were focused on what our jobs were and never pressed.”
The sweep improves PRCC’s record to 18-8 overall and 11-5 in the MACCC. Hinds falls to 12-10, 11-7.
One mighty swing ended up deciding Game 1 against the Eagles.
The two sides were locked in a pitcher’s duel until the fourth inning when Hinds took a brief 1-0 lead on an RBI single.
PRCC immediately responded in the bottom half of the frame. After Sydney Runnels (Seminary) reached with a one-out single, the second baseman took second on a walk and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice before coming in to score on a Promise Shanks (Waynesboro; Wayne County) single.
The Wildcats went back to work in the fourth. After McKall Holder (Hurley; East Central) singled and Kaitlyn Passeau (Lucedale; George County) reached on an error, Erin Daughtery (Vancleave) belted a three-run shot over the left field wall.
PRCC only surrendered one base runner the rest of the way to secure the 4-1 victory.
Hannah Embry (Vicksburg; Porter’s Chapel Academy) went the distance for Pearl River, striking out six against three hits and one walk in seven innings.
Seven different players tallied a hit in the game; Passeau’s double and Daughtery’s homer were the only to go for extra bases.
Passeau gave PRCC an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 in the first inning with a home run over the center field wall.
The Eagles threatened in the second inning with a leadoff triple but starter Madelyn Burch (Franklinton, La.; Bowling Green) induced two popups and struckout another batter to get out of the jam.
“It was a perfect screwball,” Meeks said. “That was a huge moment for her.”
The Wildcats weren’t as lucky in the third as HCC tied it up with a two-run homer of its own.
HCC took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on a double to the right-center gap. HCC worked the runner to third but Burch dialed up a huge strikeout to strand the Eagle.
Pearl River quickly responded in the bottom of the fourth. After Cassady Bradford (Saucier; West Harrison) doubled into the right field corner, pinch runner Hannah Miller (Kokomo; West Marion) came around to score on a Runnels single. Heads up baserunning pushed PRCC ahead 4-3. Kambryn Chaisson (Picayune) hit a comebacker but after picking up the initial out, Hinds couldn’t handle the throw back to second in an effort to double-up Abigail Thexton (Sumrall). The blunder allowed Runnels to score the go-ahead run.
Meeks’ Wildcats continue to add on from there.
Passeau hit her second homer of the day, a two-run shot to left, to give PRCC a 6-3 lead in the fifth.
PRCC tacked on three more insurance runs in the sixth. Chaisson singled in two with a chopper up the middle and then came around to score in the very next at-bat.
Taelor York (Choctaw; Clinton Christian Academy), Holder, Passeau, Thexton and Shanks all had two hits as PRCC collected 14 as a group.
Burch earned the win, allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings while striking out four. Embry earned the save, throwing three scoreless innings and striking out two.
“Embry threw well in the first game and we just had a good feeling about putting her back in,” Meeks said. “She got some rest this week and I think that really helped. She was calm, composed, in control and did what she needed to do.”
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