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No. 4 Pearl River captures 40th win in split with No. 5 Jones

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 4 Pearl River softball team made it back-to-back 40-win seasons for the first time in program history Wednesday night, splitting with rival No. 5 Jones College. The Wildcats took game one 5-4 but fell in game two 13-5.


"It's awesome to win and heartbreaking to lose, but what an atmosphere today," head coach Christie Meeks said. "We have a great support system, and I do not doubt that as we go on the road this weekend, we will have the energy and excitement to try to grab two."


No. 4 Pearl River's Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) celebrates after hitting a two-run double against No. 5 Jones College (Richard Gleber/PRCCAthletics)


GAME ONE

The Wildcats (40-9 overall; 20-6 MACCC) kept it interesting in the first inning of the day. The first three batters reached to load up the bases before the Bobcats (32-12; 19-5) picked up two quick outs. Looking as if Jones was going to get out of danger, Peyton Hoffmayer (Ocean Springs) made sure to make the first inning count. She fell behind 1-2 in the count but battled back to make it full before ripping a bases-clearing double into the left center field gap, 3-0. Caroline Lindsey (Gulfport) kept the rally going with a single before Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) sent a towering shot off the right field wall for a two-run double, 5-0.


Jones College got a run back in the top of the second, cashing in for an RBI single after leadoff a single and a Wildcat miscue, 5-1.


Natalie Herrington (Petal) kept the Bobcats from getting back into the run column until the top of the fifth as the Bobcats turned an error and a walk into a three-run homer, cutting the deficit to just one, 5-4.


The Bobcats didn't make it easy on Herrington in the top of the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, JC had two runners reach base before flying out and striking out. Herrington was aided by her defense in the seventh. A walk and a single had the tying and go-ahead runs on the bases for the Bobcats. A laser was sent to second base and snatched out of the air by CharLee Meadows (Piave; Greene County). She reacted quickly to dash to second and double off the runner.

Herrington then forced a ground ball for a game-ending fielder's choice, securing the 5-4 victory.


Herrington threw a complete game, allowing four runs on four walks and six hits. Only two runs were earned, and she struck out four batters.

"Nat was fantastic," Meeks said. "I was proud of her working through a tight strike zone and continuing to fight. She made one bad pitch, and they capitalized on it."


Hoffmayer led the offensive charge, finishing 1-for-2 with three RBIs and a walk. Lainee Bailey (Walker, La.), Lindsey and Cuevas were the only other Wildcats with a hit.


GAME TWO

The Bobcats flushed their game-one loss and responded with a first-inning five-spot in game two. The Wildcats tried to fight back in the bottom half of the inning as Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) ripped a two-run homer off the foul pole down the left field line, 5-2. 


Jones College continued to extend its lead as the game progressed, scoring three in the second inning, four in the third and one in the fourth.


The Wildcats tacked on a run in the second on a Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) RBI single and two in the fifth on a Daughtery single and a Lindsey double.


The Bobcats eventually closed out the game to win 13-5.


Bailey recorded two outs, giving up five runs on four hits and two walks. Daughtery threw three innings, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks. Anna Kate Rounsaville (Gulfport) recorded two outs, allowing four runs on two hits and two walks. She struck out one. Hoffmayer recorded two outs, giving up one run on four hits and one walk. She struck out one. 


Toups finished 2-for-3 and scored a run. Daughtery finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run, hitting a homer.


NEXT UP

Pearl River heads to Senatobia on Saturday for the final road doubleheader of the season. First pitch against Northwest is set for noon. The games will be livestreamed at NWCCRangers.com/watch.


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

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