Lights out hitting and dominant pitching guide No. 11 Pearl River past Hinds
Richard Gleber - PRCC Sports Media
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Hitting and pitching were on display at Wildcat Stadium Wednesday as the No. 11 Pearl River softball team swept Hinds for their fifth consecutive MACCC sweep. The Wildcats tallied ten runs on 11 hits in a 10-2 game-one victory.
“I am so proud of them; they are continuously fighting, and their energy was great.” PRCC head coach on the Wildcats sweep. “I am very proud of what they are doing right now.”
The Wildcats (27-6 overall; 11-1 MACCC) wasted no time to get on the board in a decisive game-one victory.
Lead-off batter Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) opened the bottom of the first with a home run deep over the center field wall to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcat defense made quick work of the Eagles (5-23 overall; 2-8 MACCC) in the top of the second and third with two three-up, three-down innings. Pitcher Natalie Herrington (Petal) picked up her second and third strikeouts.
The Wildcats offense heated up in the bottom of the third as the PRCC added four runs to their lead. Dallyn Nance (Nanih Waiya) opened the inning with a double to left field. Next, Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) hit a triple on a long fly ball to center field to score Nance. Cassidy Cartwright (Poplarville) reached first after being hit by a pitch to give the Wildcats runners on first and third. After a Cartwright steal of second, Overstreet stole home to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) left no doubt on the third pitch of her at bat as she sent a booming home run over the center field fence to give the Wildcats a 5-0.
PRCC’s Cassidy Cartwright (Richard Gleber/PRCC Athletics)
Herrington kept the Eagles off balance, picking up two more strikeouts in the top of the fourth to bring her game total to five.
Cartwright added to the Wildcats total, scoring Lavergne with a single to left field, 6-0. Two batters later, Destiney Gary (Greenwell Springs, La.; Central) hit a line drive triple to center field to plate Cartwright and Daughtery, 8-0. Jena Pacheco (Vancleave) brought Gary home in the next at-bat with a single to left field to give the Wildcats a 9-0 lead after four innings of play.
The Eagles scored twice in the top of the fifth to cut the Wildcat lead 9-2. Herrington added two more strikeouts to bring her total to seven.
Overstreet called game with a double to left to score Lavergne to give the Wildcats a 10-2 five-inning run-rule victory.
Herrington continued to provide solid outings for the Wildcats, pitching a five-inning complete game with seven strikeouts and only allowing five hits and one earned run.
“She is so competitive in everything, that includes off the field and in life, and that helps a lot.” Coach Meeks on Herrington’s competitive nature. “When she is on the mound, she just owns it. She fights, and the team fights behind her.”
Cartwright was 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs. Gary hit 2-for-2 with two RBI and one run. Both Lavergne and Daughtery had game-one home runs.
Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga.) put on a pitching clinic in game two by striking out 15 and allowing one hit in six innings in a 7-1 Wildcat victory.
After walking the lead-off batter in the top of the first inning, Rogers settled down and struck out the next three batters faced.
The Wildcat offense wasted no time getting on the board in the bottom of the first, with Overstreet scoring Gary on a line drive to center, 1-0. Two batters later, Daughtery found a hole in the right side of the Hinds infield for an RBI single, scoring Overstreet from second and giving the Wildcats a 2-0 first-inning lead.
Rogers picked up in the second inning where she left off in the first, striking out two of the three batters faced.
Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) made her presence felt in her first at-bat of the day, sending a line drive over the right-center field fence scoring Ashlyn Dean (Picayune; Pearl River Central) for a two-run home run and giving the Wildcats a 4-0 lead after two.
“I went up to the plate. ‘See ball. Hit ball.’ as coach says. I made pretty solid contact. I felt it go over.” Cuevas commented on her second-inning home run.
Rogers again had a three-strikeout inning in the top of the third, only giving up a walk and striking out four of the batters.
After a scoreless third inning, the Wildcats offense woke up in the bottom of the fourth and used selfless play to plate another run. After a double by Lavergne, Gary advanced Larvergne to third on a sacrifice bunt. Overstreet brought Lavernge home with a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Wildcats a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Rogers struck out the side. Not to relax on her efforts, Rogers again struck out the side in the top of the six, bringing her strikeout total to 15 through six innings.
Overstreet continued with the hot bat, reaching base with a double on a line drive to center field. Overstreet scored after Cartwright reached second on an error by the Eagle first baseman, giving the Wildcats a 6-0 advantage. Cartwright scored on the next at-bat after the Eagle shortstop mishandled a Daughtery grounder to increase the lead 7-0.
Lizzie Weems (Bay St. Louis; Bay) entered the game in relief of Brinson in the top of the seventh, allowing one earned run, 7-1.
Rogers pitched a no-hitter through six innings, striking out 15 batters.
“It is definitely nice. We can throw the staff instead of relying on two pitchers,” Rogers said on the depth of the Wildcats pitching staff this season. “We have definitely come a long way since the beginning of the season working as a staff, so it is nice.”
Cuevas was 3-for-3 from the plate with one home run and two RBI. Overstreet was 2-for-2 with two RBI.
“I believe having the pitching staff that we do, our hitters getting to see that pitching staff every day, that really helps,” Meeks said of the Wildcats hitting this season. “They come up to the plate with confidence. They are able to own the box.”
The Wildcats travel to Goodman Saturday to take on the Holmes Bulldogs. Game times are 2/4 p.m and will be livestreamed at holmesccmedia.com.
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