Wildcats rally in both games to sweep Gulf Coast

POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College exhibited a never-say-die attitude Monday, and that attitude paid off in a pair of dramatic victories against Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Wildcats overcame a five-run deficit and pounded out 20 hits to defeat the Bulldogs 14-8 in the opener of the MACJC softball doubleheader, then climbed out of a six-run hole in the nightcap to win 9-7 and earn the sweep at Wildcat Stadium.

PRCC (18-10) increased its winning streak to seven games and climbed into sole possession of third place in the MACJC standings at 11-3 in conference games. Gulf Coast dropped to 12-10 and 7-7.

Sophomore Sarah Depperschmidt (Hurley) drove in three runs with a double in the bottom of the third inning to put Pearl River ahead for good in the opener, and the Wildcats shrugged off a seven-run rally by the Bulldogs to come back in the second game.

“They’re relentless,” said Wildcat coach Leigh White. “Nothing seems to bother them. Even when we were down after that seven-run inning, I didn’t see any worry on their faces; they just kept battling.”

In Game 1, Gulf Coast opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning, but the Wildcats answered with a run in the bottom of the inning.

Freshman Elizabeth Taggard (Picayune), this week’s MACJC Player of the Week, doubled with two out and came home on a single by sophomore Halle Melone (Oklahoma City).

Gulf Coast, though, put up five runs in the top of the second, capped by a grand slam, and chase Wildcat sophomore starter Olivia Holley (Biloxi).

Down 6-1, the Wildcats started their comeback in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs.

Sophomore Ilyssa Easton (Hurley) led off with a double, took third on a single by freshman Alyssa Pinero (Picayune) and scored on a wild pitch. Pinero came around to score on a bases-loaded walk.

PRCC took the lead with a five-run uprising in the third. Redshirt freshman Destiny Wesley (LaPlace, La.) drove in a run with a single, then Depperschmidt smacked a bases-loaded double and scored on a single my Melone, who had four RBIs in the game.

With freshman Dallas Blaker (Bay St. Louis) keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard, Pearl River added to its lead in the fourth.

Easton led off with a double and scored on an RBI double by sophomore Ramee Taylor (Hurley). Taggard had a run-scoring single and Melone drove in two runs with a single.

Blaker surrendered two runs in the top of the fifth, but the Wildcats got those right back in the bottom of the inning on Taylor’s second home run of the season after Pinero got a one-out double.

Blaker closed out the final two innings with allowing a run to improve her record to 4-1.

It was the Wildcats who drew first blood in the nightcap, scoring a run in the bottom of the first on a leadoff walk by sophomore Anna Grace Cooley (Lucedale), went all the way to third on a sacrifice and scored on a single by Taggard.

PRCC freshman Rylee Swilley (Kiln) cruised through the first three innings, but was unable to get out of the fourth, as Gulf Coast scored seven runs, helped by two Wildcat errors.

Once again trailing by a large margin, the Wildcats responded with a game-tying rally of their own, scoring six run in the bottom of the fourth.

With one out, Easton smacked a single and came all the way around to score on a double by Pinero. Two walks loaded the bases, and two runs scored on passed balls. Depperschmidt drove in two runs with a single and Taggard tied it up with a double.

Wesley drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the fifth, and Easton had a run-scoring double with two out in the sixth to give the WIldcats an insurance run.

The Bulldogs got runners to second and third with one out in the fourth, but Holley (10-5) got a pair of groundouts to put out the fire, and worked around singles in the fifth and sixth before retiring Gulf Coast in order in the seventh to nail down the win.

The Wildcats will be home to face East Mississippi at 3 p.m. Wednesday. That doubleheader was scheduled for Thursday, but was moved up because of concerns for the weather forecast for Thursday. Both games will be livestreamed on prccmedia.com.

Pearl River sophomore Halle Melone connects for a hit during action against Mississippi Gulf Coast Monday at Poplarville. (Photo by PRCC Sports Information)

PRCC SOFTBALL LINESCORES

Monday at Poplarville

Pearl River 14, Gulf Coast 8

Gulf Coast 150 020 0 – 8 13 1

Pearl River 125 420 x – 14 20 3

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST (12-9, 7-6 in MACJC): Kaitlynn McGoey 1B; Madison Wall HR (grand slam), 2 1B (5 RBIs); Jada White 4 1B; Betty Mongo 2 1B; Sydney Davis 1B; Brittney Triplett 2 1B. LP – Sydney Davis (3-4). Also pitching – Kayley Hilderbrand; Betty Mingo; Savannah Bryant.

PEARL RIVER (17-10, 10-3 in MACJC): Anna Grace Cooley 3 1B; Sarah Depperschmidt 2B (4 RBIs); Elizabeth Taggard 2B, 1B; Halle Melone 4 1B (4 RBIs); Ilyssa Easton 2 2B, 1B; Alyssa Pinero 2B, 2 1B; Ramee Taylor HR (2-run), 2B, 1B (3 RBIs); Destiny Wesley 1B. WP – Dallas Blaker (4-1). Also pitching – Olivia Holley (starter).

Pearl River 9, Gulf Coast 7

Gulf Coast 000 700 0 – 7 8 2

Pearl River 100 611 x – 9 8 2

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST (12-10, 7-7 in MACJC): Madison Wall 2 1B; Kaylynn Garrett 3B, 1B; Jada White 2B; Betty Mingo 1B; Kaitlynn McGoey 1B; Brittney Triplett 3B. LP – Avery Sanders (3-2). Also pitching – Savannah Bryant.

PEARL RIVER (18-10, 11-3 in MACJC): Sarah Depperschmidt 1B; Elizabeth Taggard 2B, 1B; Ilyssa Easton 2B, 1B; Alyssa Pinero 2B; Ramee Taylor 2B; Destiny Wesley 1B. WP – Olivia Holley (10-5). Also pitching – Rylee Swilley (starter).

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