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PRC softball defeats Picayune in district game

Pearl River Central and Picayune faced off Monday evening with the Lady Blue Devils defeating the Lady Maroon Tide 5-1.

Kylie Burnette pitched a complete game for the Lady Maroon Tide and struck out three while Jazmin Robertson also went the full seven innings for PRC and struck out 11 while only allowing one earned run.

PRC Head Coach Tony Labella said Robertson’s arm was a big part of the district win Monday night.

“I think we were really good on defense and Jazmin pitched well. She pitched a really good game. It was a pretty good team effort overall except for our hitting,” Labella said.

Picayune had a hard time getting anything going offensively outside of Brooklyn Kellar.

The freshman went 2-3 and drove in Picayune’s lone run to serve as one of the few bight spots at the plate for the Lady Maroon Tide.

Head Coach Courtney Dickens said Kellar steps up when the team needs her and her ability to drive runners home has come up big for Picayune several times this season.

“She’s tough at the plate. She’s a freshman and I have her hitting third if that tells you anything. She’s come through for us a lot this year. She’s a player that, when the game is on the line or we have runners on, she’s the player I look forward seeing up to bat because I know most of the time she’ll get the runs in,” Dickens said.

On the other side, Bayli Cucinello had another good night at the plate for PRC going 3-4 with an RBI against Picayune.

The seventh grader has stepped into a starting role this season and impressed both offensively and in the infield.

“I think the top of the order, we have two really young ones at top of the order, are doing a good job. It’s the middle of the lineup, our heavy hitters, that have to drive the ball more,” Labella said.

Picayune’s struggles at the plate could be due in part to the team’s inexperience.

There are several first-year starters for the Lady Maroon Tide and Dickens said the athletes just need to get more reps to become more comfortable in the box.

“Some of them try to do too much and some of them don’t have confidence in their hitting. We watched a lot of strikes (against PRC). I think a lot of it has to do with focus and pitch selection. They’ll swing at stuff over their head and then let stuff go right down the pipe,” Dickens said.

The win put PRC one step closer to the team’s goal of winning the district championship.

Wednesday’s game against Long Beach will end up being the deciding matchup to determine if the Lady Blue Devils once again earn that top seed, so the players know what’s at stake.

“I think at this point the young ones understand. One solid performance against a good team would get us what we want. Now we have to go out there and earn it,” Labella said.