No. 6 Pearl River breaks out the brooms against Snead State
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 6 Pearl River softball team continued its hot start to the season Thursday evening as the Wildcats swept Snead State, winning 5-1 in the opener and 10-2 in the nightcap.
"That's the first time we've played a team that has pushed us a little bit with their energy," head coach Christie Meeks said. "We like to play quality teams like that so that it can test us. We can try to practice it, but there's nothing like seeing it in a game."
Snead State (3-4 overall) made Pearl River (6-0) starting pitcher Natalie Herrington (Petal) work for it to start the afternoon as she fired 22 pitches in the opening frame. The Parsons picked up a one-out walk, but Herrington worked around it to strike out the side.
PRCC earned a pair of two-out baserunners in the bottom half of the opening frame but couldn't move either across home plate. Herrington's second inning was much different as the sophomore picked up a quick 1-2-3 inning to send Pearl River back to the dish.
The Wildcats produced a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) started the scoring by sending a laser over the head of the right fielder and off the wall for an RBI triple. Following a Wildcat out, Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) drove in the next run by ripping a line drive into center field that was just out of the reach of the outfielder for an RBI double, 2-0.
Both teams went down relatively quietly in the third, fourth, and fifth innings before the Parsons cut the deficit to one run in the sixth inning by sending an RBI double off the wall in right-center field.
Pearl River grabbed some much-needed insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning. Anna Kate Rounsaville (Gulfport) led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third on Caroline Lindsey's (Gulfport) sacrifice bunt. Cuevas dug into the batter's box and dunked a looping fly ball just in front of the diving center fielder for an RBI single. Lavergne brought her home one at-bat later, picking up a standup RBI double. Reigning MACCC Player of the Week, Lainee Bailey (Walker, La.) added another RBI to her total this season by crushing a line drive off the glove of the third baseman for a single, bringing the advantage to 5-1.
Herrington trotted back out to the circle to try and earn the complete game. Snead State worked a leadoff walk, but Rounsaville's stellar defensive effort kept the next batter off base as she charged in on a slowly hit ground ball, scooped it up and fired across the diamond to retire the runner by half of a step. A flyball to right field and a groundout to shortstop wrapped up the game in a 5-1 victory for the Wildcats.
Herrington allowed just three hits, three walks and one run in her complete-game effort. She struck out eight Parsons.
Cuevas finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) went 2-for-3, and Lavergne finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.
The second leg of the doubleheader got off to a rough start for the Wildcats as Snead State used two walks and two hits to take an early 2-0 advantage. PRCC needed a response, and the Wildcat hitters did just that. Lavergne, Nat Toups (Brandon; Clinton Christian Academy), and Bailey walked to lead off the frame before Daughtery was plunked by a pitch for an RBI.
Rounsaville (pictured) went station-to-station for an RBI before Madelyn Bourgoyne (Walker, La.) smoked a line drive over the head of the left fielder and off the fence for a two-run double. Peyton Hoffmayer (Ocean Springs) picked up the next RBI with a ground ball to the right side of the infield, and the final run of the inning was scored when the pitcher dropped Cuevas' pop-up. By the time the inning ended, PRCC led 6-2.
An insurance run crossed the plate for Pearl River in the second frame when Toups came around to score on a single up the middle by Rounsaville, 7-2.
Bailey delivered a three-up, three-down inning for the Wildcats in the top of the third, and Lavergne provided some fireworks in the bottom half of the inning, getting out in front of a pitch and lasering it over the fence down the left field line, 8-2. It was the shortstop's second homer of the year.
PRCC took a 10-2 advantage in the fourth frame. Daughtery knocked a single into center field, and Caitlyn Riche (Walker, La.) ripped an opposite-field single to get two runners aboard. After both runners got into scoring position, Rounsaville slapped a single into centerfield that plated one run, and the outfielder bobbled the ball to allow another to score, 10-2.
The Parsons moved a runner all the way to third base in what proved to be the final inning of the game, but Bailey slammed the door to secure the 10-2 run-rule victory.
Bailey finished with five innings pitched, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks. She struck out seven batters.
Rounsaville had a great game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with 4 RBIs.
Pearl River hits the road on Saturday to participate in the Chipola Tournament hosted in Dothan, Ala.