No. 11 Pearl River splits with Holmes in two defensive battles
Richard Gleber - PRCC Sports Media
GOODMAN, Miss. — Solid defense and timely hitting were the day's theme for the No. 11 Pearl River softball team and the Holmes Bulldogs as the teams split a MACCC double-header Saturday at Holmes. The Wildcats won game one 3-1, handing Holmes their first home loss of the season. Holmes won game two, 2-1, with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh.
“We came out hot and focused in our first game of the day, and our pitching was able to keep them off-balance to win the game," PRCC head coach Christie Meeks on the Wildcats split with Holmes. "In game two, Holmes executed at the right time, and we made a few critical mistakes that cost us."
The Wildcats (28-7 overall; 12-2 MACCC) put runs on the board early and relied on solid pitching and defense to close out a 3-1 victory over Holmes (18-14 overall; 6-8 MACCC).
Wildcat sophomore Destiney Gary (Greenwell Springs, La.; Central) tripled to right field and later scored on a passed ball to put the Wildcats up 1-0.
The Wildcat defense produced a quick three-up, three-down bottom of the first. Starter Natalie Herrington (Petal) picked up her first strikeout to close out the inning.
Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) got the Wildcat offense going in the top of the second with a double to deep center. Natalie Toups (Brandon; Clinton Christian Academy) advanced Cuevas to second with a bunt. CharLee Meadows (Piave; Greene County) laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Cuevas to increase the lead to 2-0. Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge; La; Central) followed Meadows with a line drive single to center field to score Toups, 3-0.
After the second inning, both teams put up solid defensive efforts for the remainder of the game.
The Bulldogs plated one run in the bottom of the sixth inning to close the Wildcat lead to two, 3-1.
Herrington pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the seventh to preserve a 3-1 complete-game victory. With a runner on first and one out, Herrington got the Bulldog batter to hit into a fielder’s choice, with Toups getting the runner out at second with a nice throw to Meadows. The game ended with an excellent defensive play by Lavergne, throwing out the runner at first to end the game.
PRCC’s Natalie Herrington (Trenton Gascho/PRCC Athletics)
Herrington through a complete game, allowing one run on two hits and striking out three. Toups was 2-for-2 from the plate, scoring one run. Meadows was 1-for-2 with one RBI.
The second contest of the day proved to be a defensive battle.
The Wildcats made quick work of the Bulldogs in the bottom of the first, only seeing four batters. A sharp play by Toups at third on a grounder with the throw to Overstreet recorded the first out. After a walk, Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga.) took care of the rest by striking out the last two batters of the inning.
The Wildcats were able to put two runners on in the top of the second off of a walk by Ashlyn Dean (Picayune; Pearl River Central) and a single by Toups but could not push either across the plate for a score.
The Wildcats defense stood firm again in the bottom of the second with a three-up, three-down inning highlighted by Gary chasing down two fly balls for outs.
Neither team was able to manufacture a run in the third and fourth innings no runners advancing past second base during the innings.
The Bulldogs broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth. After a hit by pitch, a sacrifice bunt put a Wildcat runner on second base. The Bulldog runner scored on an error by a Wildcat outfielder to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead after five innings.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Cuevas tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the seventh with a solo home run over the left field fence.
Holmes scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to secure a 2-1 lead and a series split.
Rogers pitched 6.2 innings, striking out four batters and giving up one hit and no earned runs.
Cuevas was 1-for-2 with a solo home run.
“Klair continues to adjust her approach and keeps battling to find a way,” Meeks said of Cuevas’ hitting in the last two series.
The Wildcats travel to Wesson on Tuesday for a double-header vs Copiah-Lincoln. Game times are 3/5 p.m and will be livestreamed at colinathletics.com/general/live_stream.