Pearl River clicked on all cylinders in sweep at Mardi Gras Invitational
Published 3:44 pm Saturday, February 4, 2023
YOUNGSVILLE, La. —The Pearl River softball team displayed strong pitching and an explosive offense Friday in a sweep at the Mardi Gras Invitational. The Wildcats opened the day with a 15-0 victory over South Arkansas. PRCC did not lose a step in a 5-1 game two victory over National Park.
“Wow. Today was fun. We had so much energy,” PRCC head coach Christie Meeks commented on the team’s performance. “We had great back-to-back at bats from a lot of people in our lineup. I believe we clicked on all cylinders today.”
PEARL RIVER 15, SOUTH ARKANSAS 0
Natalie Herrington (Petal) put on a pitching display, and the Wildcats (2-2) offense was on fire in game one, a 15-0 victory against South Arkansas (0-1) in game one of the Mardi Gras Invitational.
In the bottom of the first, Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) walked and advanced to second on a Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) line drive to right field. Cassidy Cartwright (Poplarville) reached first on a fielder’s choice that moved Overstreet to second. Lavergne was out at third. In the next PRCC at-bat, a Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) double put the Wildcats on the board 2-0, scoring Overstreet and Cartwright. After a Jena Pacheco (Vancleave) walk, Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) reached first base on an error scoring Daughtery and advancing Pacheco to third.
Destiney Gary (Greenwell Springs, La.; Central) singled on a ground ball to center field, advancing to second on the throw. Pacheco and Cuevas scored on the play, giving the Wildcats a 5-0 lead. Gary later scored on an error by the South Arkansas (0-1) catcher giving the Wildcats a 6-0 first-inning lead.
Natalie Herrington (Petal) kept the South Arkansas batters at bay in the top of the second, striking out three of the four batters.
The Wildcat bats picked up where they left off in the second inning. Dallyn Nance (Nanih Waiya) opened the inning with a double to center field. In the next at-bat, Lavergne singled to third base giving the Wildcats runners on the corners. After Lavergne advanced to second on a steal, Overstreet singled to centerfield scoring both Nance and Lavergne, increasing the Wildcat lead 8-0. Daughtery reached first on an error, advancing Overstreet to third.
After a South Arkansas pitching change, Cuevas got on base after an error, scoring Overstreet and advancing Daughtery to third. After getting hit by a pitch, Gary advanced to third on a CharLee Meadows (Piave, Miss.; Greene County) single that plated Daughtery and Cuevas, giving the Wildcats an 11-0 lead. Gary scored PRCC’s last run of the inning after a South Arkansas error on a ground ball by Nance.
Herrington continued her dominant pitching performance in the top of the third, striking out the first two batters she faced. PRCC closed out the third inning with Nance securing a fly ball to center field.
Cartwright opened the bottom of the third inning with a double to center field. Daughtery walked in the next at bat. Daughtery then moved to second on a steal. A Marisa West (Citronelle, Ala.; Leroy) single, plated Cartwright, advancing Daughtery to third. Daughtery later scored on a passed ball to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead after three.
The Wildcats made quick work in the top of the fourth, recording three straight outs. Herrington picked out her seventh strikeout of the game.
After opening the top of the fourth with a Lavergne single to right field, Ryleigh Wallace (Petal) reached second and advanced Lavergne to third on a ground ball error to first. Cartwright singled on a line drive to third base to score Lavergne and extend the Wildcat lead, 15-0, to end the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Meeks called on Daughtery to close the game in relief. Daughtery and the Wildcats closed out South Arkansas in three straight batters. After getting the first batter to fly out, Daughtery recorded her first strikeout of the game. PRCC closed out the game with Kallie Hunt (Picayune) securing a popup in right field giving the Wildcats the 15-0 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
Herrington allowed zero runs and pitched four scoreless innings, striking out seven and walking one. Daughtery recorded one strikeout in three batters faced.
Overstreet was 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI, and Lavergne was 2-for-2 in four plate appearances with two runs. Daughtery was 1-for-3, scoring three runs and adding two RBI. Gary was 1-for-1 in two plate appearances with two runs and two RBI. Cartwright added two runs and one RBI.
PEARL RIVER 5, NATIONAL PARK 1
The Wildcats used the pitching of Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga.) and an offensive explosion in the top of the fifth inning to secure its fourth win on the season over National Park (3-2), 5-1.
Both teams started slow in the nightcap, with PRCC having only one hit in the top of the first inning, an Overstreet triple. In the bottom of the first, Rogers struck out two batters faced and forced a fly out to end the inning.
Daughtery continued to find ways to get on base by reaching first on a walk to open the second inning. After advancing to second a wild pitch, Hunt entered the game to run for Daughtery. Hunt scored on a Gary line drive double to center field to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second. Rogers again had a three up, three down inning striking out two batters in the bottom half of the inning.
After recording one hit in the top of the third inning, the Wildcats made quick work in the bottom half with Rogers recording two strikeouts and Ashlyn Dean (Picayune; Pearl River Central) picking up the third out on a National Park popup to third base.
Rogers showed her mettle in the bottom of the fourth. The first two National Park batters got on base with a walk and a single. After a fly out to Cartwright, the Wildcats were facing runners on the corners. A hit batter by Rogers loaded the bases with one out. Rogers was able to prevent a run by striking out two National Park hitters to close the inning.
The Wildcats offense came alive in the top of the fifth. Nance singled to open up the inning. Nance advanced to second on a Lavergne bunt, Lavergne was safe on first with an error on the infielder. An Overstreet double to left scored both Nance and Lavergne. After a Cartwright walk, Daughtery singled on a line drive to right field to score both Overstreet and Cartwright to give the Wildcats a 5-0 lead after five and a half innings.
Rogers opened the bottom of the fifth by striking out the first two batters she faced. National Park’s third batter of the inning got the Nighthawks on the board with a solo home run on a full count to cut PRCC’s lead to 5-1.
Rogers recorded two more strikeouts over the final two innings to bring her game total to 12, and the Wildcats defeated National Park 5-1.
LEADING THE WAY
Overstreet was 3-for-3 with two RBI and one run. Gary was 2-for-4 with one RBI and Daughtery had two RBIs.
“Overstreet and Daughtery had big days,” Meeks commented on the Wildcats offense. “Also, Destiney (Gary) had some great clutch at bats that put us ahead in the second game.”
On the mound, Rogers pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts while only allowing one run on five hits.
“Pitching was stellar today. Only allowed one run all day,” Meeks said. “They are so proud of each other.”
The Wildcats will hold its home opener on Wednesday. PRCC will host Snead State at 1/3 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium.
CASHLESS BOX OFFICE
To help improve traffic flow and fan experience, PRCC athletics box offices will be cashless in 2022-23. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted at the box office. Fans are encouraged to beat the lines and purchase their tickets in advance at PRCCAthletics.com/Tickets.
Pearl River livestreams all home games for free at PRCCMedia.com/gold. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the “Pearl River CC” channel from their app stores.
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