No. 9 Pearl River opens Region 23 Tournament with Northeast
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Fresh off a remarkable 40-win regular season, the No. 9 Pearl River softball team now shifts its attention to tournament play.
The Wildcats (40-11 overall) earned the No. 3 seed in the Region 23 Tournament and will take on No. 6 seed Northeast (41-11) Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The winner of the matchup advances to play Friday at 1:30 p.m. The team that falls moves into the loser's bracket game on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
The Champion and Runner-up of the tournament both advance to the NJCAA Division II Softball Championship May 23-27 in Spartanburg, S.C.
"Tournament play is the most fun you have all season," Pearl River coach Christie Meeks said. "You're playing free and constantly have your foot on the gas. You're just trying to make it to the next day. It's a lot of fun."
The Wildcats have a tough task ahead of them as the 10-team tournament features eight teams who have received votes or been ranked in the NJCAA Softball rankings this season. Heading into the tournament, five teams rank inside the top-15. Ranked teams include No. 5 Jones College, No. 7 Copiah-Lincoln, No. 9 Pearl River, No. 11 Northwest and No. 15 LSU Eunice.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
Pearl River boasts the top pitching staff in the region and the sixth-best in the country in terms of earned run average, holding a mark of 1.59. PRCC is first in the region and fourth in the country in strikeouts with 404.
PRCC starters Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga.) and Natalie Herrington (Petal) are first and second in the region with ERAs of 0.69 and 1.45, respectively. Rogers' 230 strikeouts are sixth-best in the NJCAA and first among Region 23 pitchers. Rogers currently sits second in the country in ERA, while Herrington is 10th best.
Offensively, Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La.; Central) has put together a remarkable freshman campaign. The shortstop currently leads the team in batting average (.407), slugging percentage (.747), on-base percentage (.484), hits (66), RBIs (44), doubles (16), homers (11) and triples (3). Sophomore Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) is second on the team in batting average with a mark of .391. She has tallied 59 hits, 35 RBIs, eight doubles, four homers and two triples.
ABOUT THE TIGERS
Pearl River and Northeast split the season series, with the Tigers taking the first game 3-1 and PRCC rebounding to snatch game two 6-0.
Cassidy Duskin leads the way for the Tigers at the plate, hitting .423 with 63 hits, 19 stolen bases, 18 RBIs, seven doubles, six triples and two homers. Alexie Griffin has a .395 batting average with 64 hits, 33 RBIs, 17 doubles, four triples and three homers.
Duskin also gets it done in the circle as she leads the Tigers in ERA with a 2.41 mark in 107 1/3 innings. She has also struck out 102 batters. Emma Dempsey leads NEMCC in innings with 125. She ended the regular season with a 17-4 record with 14 complete games. She struck out 125 batters.
Admission is $10 per day or $50 for a six-day tournament pass. Gates open one hour before the first game of each day. Jones College recommends that fans purchase tickets in advance at JCBobcats.com/tickets.
All games will be livestreamed for free at JCBobcats.com/watch.
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