Julianah Overstreet’s walk-off home run lifts Pearl River in sweep over Southwest
Richard Gleber - PRCC Sports Media
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 12 Pearl River softball team swept their MACCC home opening series against Southwest. The Wildcats relied on clutch hitting by Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) in a 6-4 extra-inning win in game one and an offensive explosion by CharLee Meadows (Piave; Greene County) in a 10-2 game two victory.
“It was huge to get a sweep early in the conference,” PRCC head coach Christie Meeks on the Wildcats' sweep of Southwest. “In this league, anyone can beat anyone and it is great to fight hard and come out with two wins.”
PEARL RIVER 6, SOUTHWEST 4
The Wildcats(19-6 overall; 3-1 MACCC) had to go to extra innings to pick up the victory in a back-and-forth battle against Southwest (10-12 overall; 0-4 MACCC) in game one.
PRCC made quick work of the Bears in the top of the first. CharLee Meadows (Piave; Greene County) led the way defensively, chasing down two foul balls behind first base.
PRCC got on the board first in the bottom of the first. Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) started the inning with a line drive over the third baseman for a single. Dallyn Nance (Nanih Waiya) followed with a nine-pitch walk. Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) sent the third pitch seen to center field to score Lavergne and give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcat defense came up big again in the top of the second. With runners on first and second with one out, pitcher Natalie Herrington (Petal) fielded a Bears bunt and threw the batter out at first. A heads-up play by Meadows, who was covering first, threw out the Bear runner at home to end the threat.
The Bears plated two runners in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Lavergne hit a line drive into left field. After singles by Overstreet and Cassidy Cartwright (Poplarville) loaded the bases, Lavergne scored on a passed ball, 2-2.
The Bears took the lead in the top of the seventh. The leadoff batter reached base after being hit by a pitch. Two batters later, the Bears put another batter on base with an infield single. A blooper to center scored two runs to give the Bears a 4-2 lead.
The Wildcats rallied in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings. Natalie Toups (Brandon; Clinton Christian Academy) opened the inning with a bunt to third base. After a Lavergne walk, Nance laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Toups and Lavergne. Overstreet came up big for the second time in the game with a two-run double to center field to tie the game, 4-4.
Reliever Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga.) shut down the Bears in the top of the ninth by striking out the side.
Lavergne opened the bottom of the ninth with a sharp line drive down to right field. Two batters later, Overstreet called game with a line drive two-run home run to left center field to give the Wildcats a 6-4 victory.
PRCC’s Julianah Overstreet (Trenton Gascho, PRCC Athletics)
BY THE NUMBERS
Overstreet was 4-for-5 at the plate with one home run, five RBIs, and one run.
“Julianah came up clutch with tying the game on a two run double then again on a two run home run,” Meeks said of Overstreet. “That is huge not to just do it once but twice.”
Lavergne was 3-for-4 from the plate with four runs and one walk. “Morgan has been such a great lead off for us,” Meeks commented of Lavergne. “I’m so proud of her.”
In relief, Rogers pitched 2 2/3 innings and recorded five strikeouts with one hit. Also, in relief Herrington pitched 3 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and two earned runs. Starter Mya Young (Paxton, Fla.) pitched three innings with four hits, one walk and one earned run.
PEARL RIVER 10, SOUTHWEST 2
Game two was a coming-out party for freshman Meadows who put on a hitting clinic and put the Wildcats on her back at the plate.
Both teams struggled to get any momentum offensively in the first inning. Wildcat starter Rogers picked up her first strike out of the game on the first batter faced and relied on defense to close out the inning with Ashlyn Dean (Picayune; Pearl River Central) fielding a grounder and Nance chasing down a fly ball in right field.
In the top of the second inning, Rogers recorded her second strike out of the game while holding the Bears scoreless.
The offense for the Wildcats picked up in the second inning with Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) and Marisa West (Citronelle, Ala.; LeRoy) picking up singles in the first two at-bats. Dean reached first after being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Toups drew a walk to score Lavergne and give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Meadows did not waste any time in her at-bat sending the first pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam, 5-0.
Rogers took over in the top of the third, striking out the side to bring her strikeout total in the game to five.
Meadows continued her tear at the plate with a two-run double in the bottom of the third. West got things going in the inning with a single to first. Toups drew a walk to give the Wildcats runners on first and second with two outs. Meadows stepped to the dish and sent the first pitch of the at-bat off the center field wall for a two-run double and a 7-0 lead. Lavergne rewarded Meadows with a single to left field that brought her home, 8-0.
The Bears picked up two runs in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 8-2.
After the Wildcats failed to score in the bottom of the fourth, Rogers once again made quick work in the top of the fifth by striking out the side for the second time in the game.
Toups opened the bottom of the fifth for the Wildcats with a single to shortstop. In the next at-bat, Meadows did not rest on her laurels and lined the first pitch of the at-bat to right field for an RBI triple, scoring Toups on the play, 9-2.
Rogers struck out two of the three batters faced in the top of the sixth to keep the lead at seven, 9-2.
The Wildcats plated a run in the bottom of the sixth to pick up a run-rule victory, 10-2. Nance opened the inning with a hard single to left field. Overstreet laid down a sacrifice bunt to the first baseman to advance Nance to second. Daughtery closed out the scoring with a single to center field that scored Nance.
LEADING THE WAY
Meadows was 3-for-3 with one home run, seven RBI and two runs scored. She finished a single shy of hitting for the cycle.
“She definitely had a night. She has been working so hard,” Meeks said on Meadows' offensive performance. “I’m so glad it showed tonight.”
Lavergne was 3-for-4 with one RBI, Daughtery was 3-for-4 with one RBI and West was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Rogers recorded 11 strikeouts in complete game performance. She allowed one hit and zero earned runs.
The Wildcats travel to Moorhead on Saturday to take on the MS Delta Trojans. Game times are 1/3 p.m at the Carl and Brenda Grubb Softball Complex. The games will be livestreamed at youtube.com/@MDCCTrojans/