Pearl River softball looks to ride momentum into playoffs
POPLARVILLE, Miss.— The Pearl River Lady Wildcats softball team has been on a tear as of late and it could not have come at a better time as they open the MACJC Tournament with a 5 p.m. matchup Wednesday at host Jones College.
The Lady Wildcats (25-19 overall, 15-13 MACJC) have won 11 of their last 14 games since dropping a doubleheader against No. 3 Jones College on April 15.
"We've finished pretty strong here at the end to make a push to get into the playoffs," PRCC coach Leigh White said. "I think the kids are ready to get out there. We told them the other night that everyone is 0-0 right now. They're ready to get out there and work and compete. We've just need to keep our bats going and give our pitchers some rest."
White believes her team is in a good place heading into their opener against Jones College (41-6, 24-1).
"I know our first meeting with Jones didn't go as planned but I think our kids are really eager to see them again," White said. "It's not going to be easy but at least we know now what we're dealing with so we can have a different approach this time. I told the girls yesterday that we're not looking at the name on the front of their jerseys. What we're doing is just going in and playing whoever our opponent is in the other dugout."
To say the Lady Wildcats have been hot at the plate as of late would be a gross understatement.
Since the doubleheader loss to Jones, the Lady Wildcats are hitting.380 as a team.
Sophomores Elizabeth Taggard (Picayune) and Mary Grace Turner (Leakesville; Greene County) have been a big reason for Pearl Rivers success the plate.
Taggard is batting .630 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs over the last 14 games; Turner is hitting .500 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs as well.
While the Lady Wildcat offense has been a large part of their recent success, White thinks it will be their play on the defensive side of the ball that determines their success in the playoffs.
"Our defense has got to play," White said. "We have to minimize our errors and play some good defense. Defense wins championships. The teams in this tournament are going to hit the ball. We have to hit with them, but our pitchers need to get in the circle and compete."
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2019 MACJC SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
May 8-11, 2019 at Jones College in Ellisville, Miss.
Game 1: (6) Copiah-Lincoln vs. (3) Gulf Coast, Noon
Game 2: (7) Southwest vs. (2) Itawamba, 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: (8) Pearl River vs. (1) Jones College, 5 p.m.
Game 4: (5) Northeast vs. (4) East Central, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, Noon
Game 6: Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, 2:30 p.m.
Game 7: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 5 p.m.
Game 8: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, 7:30 p.m.
Game 9: Loser of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 5, Noon
Game 10: Loser of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 6, 2:30 p.m.
Game 11: Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8, 5 p.m.
Game 12: Winner of Game 9 vs. Winner of Game 10, 7:30 p.m.
Game 13: Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 12, 1 p.m.
Game 14: Winner of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 13, 3:30 p.m.
Game 15: Winner of Game 14. Vs. Loser of Game 14 (if 1st loss), 6 p.m.