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No. 6 Pearl River run-rules Lurleen B. Wallace twice on opening day

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Opening day couldn't have gotten much sweeter for the No. 6 Pearl River softball team. Not only did the Wildcats celebrate its sophomore class between games, but they also earned a dominant sweep over Lurleen B. Wallace. PRCC took both games in five innings, winning 10-0 and 10-2.

"I'm so proud of them," head coach Christie Meeks said. "It's always awesome to honor the sophomores for their hard work and accomplishments. It was great to finally see another team other than ourselves, and I felt like we played all together. It was a really fun day."



Pearl River (2-0 overall) turned to Southern Miss signee Natalie Herrington (Petal) to take the circle in the first action of the new campaign, and she did nothing but deliver. In the first three innings, Herrington struck out seven Lurleen B. Wallace (0-2) batters to send the Wildcats into the bottom of the third in a scoreless tie.

The Pearl River offense rewarded her fine pitching with three runs of support in the bottom of the third, 3-0. CharLee Meadows (Piave; Greene County) reached base on a fielder's choice and came around to score when Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) roped a double into left field. Anna Kate Rounsaville (Gulfport) brought home the next run for PRCC, lacing a ground ball to third base that was mishandled. Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) capped off the inning by sending a hard-hit groundball up the middle for an RBI single.

Herrington delivered another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, striking out a pair of batters to return the Wildcats to the dish. Southeastern Louisiana transfer Lainee Bailey (Walker, La.) showed her strength to begin the frame. She worked her way into a 1-2 count before depositing a home run over the center field wall, 4-0. The Wildcats peppered the Saints with three more runs before they opted to make a pitching change with two runners aboard. Sophomore team-captain Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) greeted the new pitcher by sending a 3-run shot over straight away centerfield, 10-0.

Herrington's pitching was dominant once more in the top of the fifth inning, working around a one-out single to strikeout back-to-back batters and end the game with a 10-0 run-rule victory.

Herrington ended her sophomore debut with an 11-strikeout, 2-hit shutout over the LBW.

"She's so competitive," Meeks said. "She's under control and calm. We worked a lot in the spring, and she said the adrenaline would turn on when we played someone else. She definitely showed that today."

Daughtery went 3-for-3 in the game with a home run and four RBIs. Bailey also had a perfect game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a home run. Lavergne went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.


The second game of the day started differently for the Wildcats as Lurleen B. Wallace struck first with a first-inning home run. Caitlyn Riche (Walker, La.) didn't allow the Saints to get comfortable with the lead, though, as she smoked her first collegiate homer over the left field wall two batters into the bottom of the first, 1-1.

Bailey responded well to the first-inning homer by striking out all three batters that stepped to the plate in the top of the second. She extended her strikeout streak to five in a row in the third and decided to help herself on offense in the bottom half of the frame. After Natalie Toups (Brandon; Clinton Christian Academy) drew a walk, Bailey walked to the plate and sent the first pitch she saw into the left field gap for an RBI double. An error off the bat of Daughtery extended the inning by another batter, and Ashlyn Dean (Carriere; Pearl River Central) made the Saints pay for the miscue by sending a moonshot over the fence in left field, 5-1.

Bailey retired the side in order in the fourth to send PRCC's hot bats right back out to hit. PRCC almost instantly added five more runs in the frame. Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) singled and came around to score on a Lavergne double. A sacrifice fly off Riche's bat brought Lavergne in to score soon after. Bailey punctuated her special day by belting her second long ball of the doubleheader, 9-1. Ryleigh Wallace (Petal) capped PRCC's scoring when her hard-hit ground ball to second base couldn't be handled and allowed Dean to score, 10-1.

Pearl River made a pitching change in the fifth inning, bringing in Rounsaville. The Saints got to her with a leadoff double, but she responded by recording back-to-back flyouts. A softly hit fly ball into centerfield fell just in front of the glove of the diving Cuevas and allowed LBW to get a run back, but Rounsaville closed out the game by forcing a fly out, 10-1.

Bailey threw four innings in her Pearl River debut, striking out eight batters against just two hits. Rounsaville closed the game, allowing two hits and walking a batter in one inning of work.

Bailey was also electric at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a homer. She was the only Wildcat with multiple hits. Across the doubleheader, Bailey was 6-for-6 with two homers, one double and one triple. She drove in four runs.

"She's fantastic and getting the confidence back," Meeks said. "She's flowing on both sides, and that's a lot of fun to watch."



Pearl River travels to Youngsville, La. on Saturday to compete in the Bullets Tournament. The Wildcats square off with Angelina at 11:30 a.m. and take on Pratt at 4:30 p.m.


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



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