Lady Wildcats sweep Mississippi Delta to earn playoff berth

POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College punched its ticket for the postseason in softball Saturday, sweeping Mississippi Delta at Moorhead in the final MACJC doubleheader of the regular season.

The Wildcats scored seven runs in the fourth inning on their way to an 8-0 win in five innings in the opening game, scored four runs in the first inning and cruised to a 6-1 victory in the nightcap.

PRCC (24-18 overall) finished the regular season 17-11 in conference play, currently good for a four-way tie for fourth place with Mississippi Gulf Coast, Copiah-Lincoln and Northeast Mississippi.

PRCC’s seeding for the first round of the MACJC playoffs is uncertain, pending the outcome of Monday’s doubleheader between Hinds and Northwest, which is a make-up date for a pair of games rained out earlier this season.

Pearl River broke a scoreless tie in the first game with a run in the third. Sophomore Anna Grace Cooley (Lucedale) reached on an error to lead off. She stole second and went to third on a fly ball and scored on a single by sophomore Halle Melone (Oklahoma City).

The decisive rally in the fourth began with a double by freshman Jada Walker (Gulfport) and another double by sophomore Ramee Taylor (Hurley). An error and a walk loaded the bases, and Cooley followed with a two-run single.

Sophomore Sarah Depperschmidt (Hurley) drove in a run with a single, freshman Elizabeth Taggard (Picayune) doubled to score another run, sophomore Olivia Holley (Biloxi) had an RBI double and Walker had yet another double to make it 8-0.

Holley (15-8) got the win, scattering four hits, striking out three and walking none.

The Wildcats picked up where they left off in the first inning of Game 2, with a four-run rally. Cooley led off with a single, took second on an error and scored on a single by Taggard. Freshman Mary Grace Turner (Leakesville) followed with a three-run home run.

Mississippi Delta got a run back in the bottom of the first, but the Wildcats added a run in the second and another in the third. Taggard had an RBI single in the second and redshirt freshman Destiny Wesley (LaPlace, La.) drove in a run in the third with a sacrifice fly.

Freshman Rylee Swilley (Kiln) earned the win, improving her record to 5-7. She allowed four hits, struck out five and walked three.

Pearl River freshman pitcher Rylee Swilley sends a pitch to the plate during softball action earlier this season. Photo by PRCC Sports Information

Based on the outcome of Monday’s Hinds-Northwest games, PRCC will either play at East Central or at Co-Lin in the first round of the MACJC playoffs. Game 1 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for Friday, with Game 2 and Game 3 (if necessary) on Saturday.

PRCC SOFTBALL LINESCORES

Saturday at Moorhead

Pearl River 8, Mississippi Delta 0 (5 innings)

PRCC 001 70 – 8 12 0

MDCC 000 00 – 0 4 3

PEARL RIVER (23-18, 16-11 in MACJC): Anna Grace Cooley 1B; Sarah Depperschmidt 1B; Elizabeth Taggard 2B, 1B; Halle Melone 2 1B; Olivia Holley 2B; Jada Walker 2 2B, 1B; Ramee Taylor 2B; Ilyssa Easton 1B. WP – Olivia Holley (15-8).

MISSISSIPPI DELTA (2-31, 2-25 in MACJC): Myah Wright 2B; Baley McCurdy 1B; Makenna Morgan 1B; Summer Kersh 1B. LP – Makenna Morgan.

Pearl River 6, Mississippi Delta 1

PRCC 411 000 0 – 6 10 1

MDCC 100 000 0 – 1 4 2

PEARL RIVER (24-18, 17-11 in MACJC): Anna Grace Cooley 2 1B; Sarah Depperschmidt 1B; Elizabeth Taggard 2 1B; Mary Grace Turner HR (3-run); Jada Walker 2B; Brook Smith 3 1B. WP –Rylee Swilley (5-7).

MISSISSIPPI DELTA (2-32, 2-26 in MACJC): Rebekah Garner 2B, 1B; Faith Delgado 1B; Shelbi Smith 1B. LP – Morgan Morrison.

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