Pearl River softball debuts new stadium with sweep
Published 9:48 am Thursday, February 9, 2023
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River softball program opened the newly renovated Wildcat Stadium in a big way Wednesday afternoon, sweeping NJCAA Division I foe Snead State. PRCC took game one 3-1 and game two 4-0.
Prior to the doubleheader, Pearl River Community College President Dr. Adam Breerwood threw out the ceremonial first pitch to officially open the brand-new stadium.
“What an exciting day it was,” head coach Christie Meeks said. “Having Dr. Breerwood out to throw the first pitch was great. It was also amazing for us to come out and get a chance to officially play at our new stadium. The atmosphere here was fantastic.”
Meeks also talked about the play of her team.
“The girls did a fantastic job of continuously putting the ball in play,” she said. “Our pitching was fantastic, and our defense really shined today. As a whole, we played a pretty solid two games.”
Although Pearl River (6-2 overall) managed to get a runner on in each of the first three innings, it wasn’t until the fourth that the Wildcats finally struck. Ashlyn Dean (Picayune; Pearl River Central) slashed a 1-2 pitch into left field to begin the inning. That’s when Meeks opted to put in Marisa West (Citronelle, Ala.; Leroy) to pinch-hit. West stepped to the dish, took the first pitch and then deposited the second pitch of the at-bat deep over the left wild wall for her first career home run and a 2-0 lead.
“We expect that out of her,” Meeks said. “She came here off a phenomenal high school career. We were hoping she’d step into this role. It was good to get that confidence back for her. Watching her step up and do that in the moment was special.”
A quick top of the fifth inning from Natalie Herrington (Petal) sent the Wildcats right back to the plate. After a ground out to begin the inning, Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) hammered the fifth pitch of her at-bat over the center field wall, increasing the lead to 3-0. The blast was the first home run of the season for Overstreet.
An error followed by a single to begin the fifth inning for Snead State (5-7) allowed the Parsons to plate their first run of the contest, but Herrington induced a fly out and struck out a batter to limit the damage, 3-1.
The seventh inning was a quiet one for both teams as PRCC secured the victory.
Overstreet finished the contest 2-for-3 with a homer and a double. Dean was the only other Wildcat with multiple hits, finishing with two. West collected a pair of RBIs.
Herrington tossed a complete game, allowing five hits and one unearned run. She struck out seven Parsons.
Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga.) took the ball in game two and made quick work of the Parson lineup in the top of the first, tallying a pair of strikeouts and a groundout.
PRCC took the lead in the next frame. Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) got on base with a single into left field and then Overstreet reached base on an error. Cassidy Cartwright (Poplarville) then stepped to the plate and laced a 3-run homer over the left field wall.
The Wildcats added another in the fourth, courtesy of freshman outfielder Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock). The first pitch thrown by the Parson pitcher was turned on by Cuevas and resulted in a moonshot solo homer, making it a 4-0 ball game.
Rogers worked herself out of some trouble in the top of the fifth inning. Snead State picked up two singles early in the inning and the runners each advanced into scoring position on an infield fly rule, but Rogers promptly struck out the batter to end the threat.
A three up, three down top of the seventh inning helped the Wildcats secure a home-opening series sweep.
Cuevas had a great game, going 2-for-3 with a homer.
“Klair had a great refocused at-bat,” Meeks said. “The first game she struck out looking and we talked about it. It was a big deal to see her make the adjustments. That was a big deal.”
Cartwright finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
Rogers was stellar in the circle as she pitched a complete game shutout, striking out 10 batters against four hits.
The Wildcats return to the field Friday for a home doubleheader against Coastal Alabama South. First pitch is set to take place at 1 p.m.
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.