PRC softball defeats George County in close game
It all came down to the final inning in Tuesday’s close softball game between Pearl River Central’s Lady Blue Devils and the George County Lady Rebels that ended in a 5-4 win for PRC.
With runners at second and third and the game tied, freshman Baylee DeVore stepped up to the plate and hit a walk off, line drive single to seal the win for PRC.
Madison Smith pitched 3 1/3 innings with three strikeouts before Jazmin Roberston came on in relief and pitched the final 3 2/3 innings while striking out seven.
Bayli Cucinello had a good night at the plate going 1-4 with an RBI in a game that saw PRC maintain a lead until the seventh inning when George County tied the game 4-4.
However, DeVore’s clutch hit salvaged a win for the Lady Blue Devils as the team fought to overcome some defensive errors.
Head Coach Tony Labella said after the game that his team made the matchup tougher on themselves than it needed to be, and the players will need to tighten things up defensively moving forward.
“We get up 3-0, and instead of making it 6-0 or 7-0 and getting some clutch hits with runners in scoring position, you keep it at 3-0 and everybody’s hanging on every pitch at the end. We have a tendency to do that where we get a lead and think the game is over, but right now we don’t have a good enough defense at this point to say a one run, or two run lead is safe. We need more than that,” Labella said.
The Lady Blue Devils struggled hitting with runners in scoring position all night.
There were several instances where the bases were loaded, or the team had a runner on third, but PRC wasn’t able to drive them in.
Labella said part of the team’s struggles was George County’s pitcher and her ability to get out of jams, but he still would’ve liked to see more runs driven in when those opportunities were presented.
“I thought their pitcher won those battles, give her credit. Everyone in the lineup had a chance to hit with runners in scoring position, it wasn’t all freshmen who got out there, there were some experienced players too. It’s different hitting in those situations. It’s like making a free throw late in the game. You could be shooting 80 percent (at the free throw line), but everything is a little different when you have the game on your shoulders,” Labella said.
Next up for the Lady Blue Devils is an away game against the Stone County Lady Tomcats on March 11.
Prior to the matchup Labella is going to have his players spend a significant amount of time at the plate doing hitting drills with runners in scoring position as he looks to get his young team on the right track.
“I think we’re in positions to make plays, it’s not like we’re caught out of position. They just have to get more reps. I think at some point when we put it all together we have a chance to be a really good team, we’ll show glimpses. Sometimes we look like a really, really young team in general, and other times we look like a young team that could be pretty good because they’re still growing up,” Labella said.