No. 12 PRCC hits on all cylinders in dominant series win
Richard Gleber - Asst. Director of Digital Services and Webmaster
MOORHEAD, Miss. — Strong pitching, flawless defense and dominant offense propelled the No. 12 Pearl River softball team to their second consecutive MACCC series sweep on the road over Mississippi Delta. The Wildcats collected 15 hits in a five-inning 15-0 game-one victory and sure-handed defense and timely hitting in game two pushed the Wildcats to a 6-0 win, securing the series sweep.
“This team never ceases to amaze us,” PRCC head coach Christie Meeks on the Wildcats. “They are starting to put it all together and they keep eliminating the mistakes we have made in the past. Our teams' ability to adjust and adapt is outstanding.
“The one thing we harp on is culture. That is a huge part of us being able to do what we are doing. This was a great sweep on the road.”
The Wildcats (21-6 overall; 5-1 MACCC) opened the first inning with hot bats, and the offense did not slow down throughout the game against the Trojans (1-25 overall; 0-6 MACCC). Not to be outdone, the Wildcat defense behind the solid pitching from Bella Crawley (Ocean Springs) held the Trojans to two hits in the game.
In the top of the first, with Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) and Dallyn Nance (Nanih Waiya) occupying first and second bases, Cassidy Cartwright (Poplarville) sent a line drive to center for a two-run double, 2-0. In the next at-bat, Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) singled on a hard grounder to center field to score Cartwright and increase the lead to 3-0. After Destiney Gary (Greenwell Springs, La.; Central) reached base after being hit by a pitch, Jena Pacheco (Vancleave) hit into fielder’s choice. In the next at-bat, Natalie Toups (Brandon; Clinton Christian Academy) reached base after getting hit by a pitch. With bases loaded, CharLee Meadows (Piave; Greene County) sent a line drive to right field to score Gary and Pacheco, 5-0.
CharLee Meadows drives a pitch the other way.
In the bottom of the first, pitcher Bella Crawley recorded her first strike out of the game.
Nance opened the top of the second by reaching base after getting hit by a pitch. After stealing second, Nance scored on an Overstreet single to center field, 6-0. Gary picked up her second RBI single with a fly ball to center, scoring Overstreet, 7-0.
Crawley picked up her second strikeout of the game in the bottom of the second. She was aided in the inning with good defensive play by Gary getting under a fly ball in the outfield and Meadows finding Lavergne on a fielder's choice.
The Wildcats plated two more runs in the top of the third to increase the score to 9-0. A Lavergne triple on a line drive to center scored Meadows to bring the lead to 8-0. Lavergne was not on base long as Nance sent a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Lavergne, 9-0.
The Wildcat defense held strong again in the bottom of the third, holding the Trojans scoreless.
The Wildcat offense did not slow down in the top of the fourth. Meadows sent a line drive to right field, scoring Pacheco and Toups to increase the lead to 11-0. Lavergne rewarded Meadows with a hard grounder to center to bring Meadows home and give the Wildcats a 12-0 lead.
The Wildcat defense had a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth behind the solid defense of Lavergne and Ryleigh Wallace (Petal).
The scoring continued for the Wildcats in the top of the fifth, with PRCC plating three more runs. Overstreet opened the inning by reaching base on a Trojan error. Wallace followed with a single to left field. A Kallie Hunt (Picayune) single scored Overstreet and advanced Wallace to third. Pacheco tripled on a line drive to right field to score Wallace, 14-0. Pacheco scored on the next at-bat as Toups reached first by an error on the Trojan defense to give the Wildcats a 15-0.
Crawley closed out the game by striking out two of the three Trojan batters she faced in the bottom of the fifth to secure the Wildcats' 15-0 run-rule victory.
Crawley pitched a complete game shutout, striking out four and allowing only two hits and walking two.
Meadows continued her hot hitting from the Southwest series by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs. Lavergne was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs. Gary added two RBIs and two runs while going 2-for-2 from the plate. Cartwright was 1-for-2 with two RBI and one run.
The Wildcats did not miss a beat in game two with solid hitting and defense to cruise to a win.
Lavergne opened the top of the first with a line drive single to first base. After a Nance sacrifice advanced Lavergne to second, Overstreet had a line drive single to right field to score Lavergne and give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage.
The Wildcats and Trojan defenses stepped up after the top of the first as both teams struggled to find home plate through the third inning.
West opened the top of the fourth with a big double to right field. West advanced to third on a sacrifice by Gary. In the next at-bat, Ashlyn Dean (Picayune; Pearl River Central) reached first after being hit by a pitch. West scored on a passed ball, 2-0, and Dean advanced to second on the same play. Meadows continued to have the hot bat with an RBI single, scoring Dean, 3-0. Meadows later scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Nance to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
Pitcher Natalie Herrington (Petal) did not give the Trojans a chance to build momentum by striking out the first two batters she faced in the bottom of the fourth and getting a ground out to first to close out the inning.
Herrington continued to keep the Trojan batters at bay in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings. Herrington only allowed one base runner and recorded two more strikeouts over the two innings.
Overstreet got the Wildcats' offense moving again in the top of the seventh with a double. A Daughtery double scored Overstreet. In the next at-bat, a West triple scored runner Toups to close out the scoring, 6-0.
Herrington pitched a complete game striking out six and giving up two hits.
“I thought Bella and Nat did a great job with tossing two shut outs on the road,” Meeks on the Wildcat pitching. “I’m so proud of them.”
Overstreet paced the Wildcat offense going 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run. Laverne followed by going 3-for-4 with one run. Both Daughtery and West were 2-for-4 on the day.
“Defense has been something we have been hounding on,” Meeks on the Wildcats' defensive effort. “Eliminate errors and do not allow them to turn into more. I thought we did well at that today.”
The Wildcats travel to Meridian on Tuesday to take on the Eagles. Game times at Tommy McDonald Field are 2/4 p.m. The games will be livestreamed at https://mcceagles.live.