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No. 2 Pearl River splits series at Itawamba

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director

FULTON, Miss. — The No. 2 Pearl River softball team had its first slip-up of MACCC play Sunday afternoon, splitting on the road against Itawamba. PRCC won a ten-inning thriller in game one, 5-3, but fell in game two, 3-2.

"Itawamba is a great team. It's always tough to go on the road — especially this far — and get a sweep," head coach Christie Meeks said. "It was awesome to be able to come home with a split. They fought so hard and I am proud of that. We have to keep working and getting better."



Pearl River (27-4 overall; 9-1 MACCC) took the lead early and did so off the bat of two-way star Lainee Bailey (Walker, La.), who stepped to the plate and bashed her team-leading eighth home run of the year for a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats weren't ahead for long, though, as Itawamba (13-18; 5-5) got on the board in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of its own, 1-1.

Southern Miss signee Natalie Herrington (Petal) put the Wildcats on her back to follow as she rebounded from her tough first inning with six scoreless innings to send the game to extra innings locked in a 1-1 tie.

The Wildcats pushed back ahead in the eighth inning — thanks to Ashlyn Dean (Carriere; Pearl River Central). Peyton Hoffmayer (Ocean Springs) singled on the first pitch of the inning and moved to second on a Caroline Lindsey (Gulfport) sacrifice bunt. That's when Dean stepped to the plate in her first game back from injury. The sophomore wasted no time delivering an RBI, lacing the first pitch she saw into right field to bring around the go-ahead run, 2-1.

Herrington did her best to escape a jam that an error caused in the bottom half of the eighth, picking up two consecutive strikeouts, but a single by the Indians tied up the game 2-2.

Following a leadoff single, Bailey took over for Herrington in the circle. She walked the first batter she faced before punching out a batter and inducing a pair of flyouts to escape with no runs allowed.

Pearl River did some damage in the top of the 10th. Rounsaville was placed at second to open the frame per the extra innings rules. She scored not long after when Hoffmayer dinked a single into center field. Madelyn Bourgoyne (Walker, La.) was called on to hit off the bench and delivered by smashing a double into left field to bring Hoffmayer home. Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) joined in on the extra-inning party, mashing an RBI double into right field to make it a three-run, 5-2 lead.

"When Lainee came in with a runner on third and no outs and managed to get out of the inning, I think the girls knew at that point that they were going to score. That was their mentality. They fought hard and did the little things. I was extremely proud of that."

Bailey picked up two quick outs in the bottom half of the frame before an error allowed ICC to get on base. A hit into center field allowed the Indians to get a run back, but Natalie Toups (Brandon; Clinton Christian Academy) ensured the rally was over, gunning a runner at third base to end the contest and secure a 5-3 win.

Herrington threw a gem in the circle, going eight innings and allowing two runs on six hits. Only one of the runs was earned. She didn't walk a batter and struck out a career-high 14 batters.

"She was incredible," Meeks said. "She was just mixing pitches in, out and up. She was pounding the zone and staying ahead in the counts. That's a big deal for her.

Bailey earned the win, throwing two innings of relief and striking out two against one walk.

Hoffmayer (pictured left) was the only Wildcat with two hits in the game.



The Wildcats again struck first in game two. Toups singled, stole second base and grabbed third on a passed ball. Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) helped her complete the final 60 feet, driving her in with an RBI single, 1-0. 

Extra-base hits got to the Wildcats in the bottom half of the frame as ICC hit an RBI double and then sent a two-run home run over the wall in straightaway center field to take the lead, 3-1.

The Wildcat bats were relatively quiet over the next three innings, but Bailey kept the Indians from extending their lead with solid pitching. PRCC finally tacked on another run in the fifth as Caitlyn Riche (Walker, La.) doubled, Dean walked and Bourgoyne singled to load up the bases. Lavergne brought Riche across the plate with a sacrifice fly, but an out on the base paths and a groundout put an end to PRCC's threat, 3-2.

The Wildcats got two runners into scoring position in the sixth inning, but the Indian pitcher induced two flyouts to end the inning. Pearl River couldn't get anyone aboard in the seventh and fell for the first time in MACCC action, 3-2.

Bailey threw six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. She struck out nine batters.

Daughtery was the only Wildcat with multiple hits in the game. 



Pearl River hits the road on Tuesday for a 3/5 p.m. doubleheader at Hinds. The games will be livestreamed at


For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on X (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics). 



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