No. 9 Pearl River rebounds with sweep of No. 7 Itawamba
Tyler Johnson - PRCC Athletics Intern
FULTON, Miss. — The No. 9 Pearl River softball team rebounded in a big way Friday in an NJCAA top-10 matchup with No. 7 Itawamba. The Wildcats won the first game 4-2 before shutting the Indians out in game two, 2-0.
"We are excited to be able to bring two huge road wins back to The River," head coach Christie Meeks said. "Especially against a great pitching staff and a tough team like Itawamba.
"Our pitching was phenomenal, and our defense is gaining more and more confidence with each other. We have worked extremely hard on bunt coverage, and I believe it showed today. I am extremely proud of them."
Meeks was also proud of the offensive production from her team today.
"I'm so proud of our offense today. All week we have worked on hitting. We worked on making it simple at the plate and just manufactured runs. They believed in that today and executed it."
Game one started off as a pitchers' duel as Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga.) got the start for the Wildcats (23-14 overall; 13-7 MACCC).
Pearl River finally broke through in the fourth as Keigan Pearson (Carriere; Pearl River Central) lined a single into right field, scoring Kallie Hunt (Picayune).
Itawamba (27-7; 13-7) responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats responded immediately in the fifth as Taelor York (Choctaw; Clinton Christian Academy) scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 2-2.
Pearl River started off the sixth strong as Jena Pacheco (Vancleave) and Emily Rigney (Waynesboro; Wayne County) reached on a walk and an error. Janna Peterson (Poplarville) entered as a courtesy runner for Pacheco and scored on a single by Dallyn Nance (Nanih Waiya). Rigney scored shortly after thanks to a bullet single up the middle by Hannah Miller (Kokomo; West Marion), giving the Wildcats a 4-2 lead.
The Indians threatened in the bottom half of the inning getting the tying run into scoring position, but Rogers struck out back-to-back batters to end the threat.
Pearl River held on to the lead, taking game one 4-2.
Rogers was stellar for Pearl River, tossing all seven innings. She allowed two runs on four hits and struck out 12.
Pacheco led the way for Pearl River with two hits on the afternoon.
Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave), York, Nance, Miller, and Pearson all collected a hit. Nance, Miller, and Pearson all tallied an RBI.
Hannah Embry (Vicksburg; Porters Chapel Academy) stepped into the circle in game two for the Wildcats and worked around a two-out walk to send the offense to the plate.
From there, another pitchers' duel ensued, with Embry working herself out of some very tough situations in the second and third innings.
Payton Lee (Picayune; Pearl River Central) led off the top of the fifth with a single right back up the middle. Aunie Rethmeyer (Belle Chasse, La.) then annihilated a ball over the right center field wall to give Pearl River a critical 2-0 lead. The blast was Rethmeyer's second homer of the year.
Rogers entered in relief in the bottom of the fifth after the first two batters reached. She promptly retired the next three batters in order to work out of the jam and preserve the lead.
Rogers went on to retire five of the next six batters that she faced to close out the 2-0 victory for the Wildcats.
Embry pitched four innings. She allowed no runs on four hits and struck out four.
Rogers pitched the final three innings, allowing no runs and no hits while striking out seven.
Rethmeyer led the way for Pearl River with a hit and two RBIs.
"Aunie's home run came at such a great time," Meeks said. "She knew her plan and was confident at the plate."
Lee had a hit and run scored in game two.
The Wildcats return home Wednesday against Meridian. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
Single-game tickets are available now and can be purchased at PRCCAthletics.com/tickets.
All home Pearl River softball games are livestreamed for free at PRCCMedia.com. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire /or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" channel from their app stores.