River splits at Jones

            ELLISVILLE — Pearl River’s Lady Wildcats dropped an 8-0 decision to fourth-ranked host Jones County in the opening game of an MACJC South Division softball doubleheader here Tuesday before bouncing back with a 6-5, nine-inning victory in the nightcap game.
            PRCC is now 19-13 overall and 8-6 in division play, while JCJC is 25-5 and 10-4.
            Lady Bobcat starter Samantha Buller (15-1) hurled a one-hitter in the first contest, giving up a single to Megan Scronce of Petal High in the third inning. She struck out four and walked one.
            After a scoreless first inning, Jones County scored one in the bottom of the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, and four in the fifth to end the game via the eight_run rule.
            River starter Neely McCrary (7-6) got the loss in her three and two-thirds innings of action, giving up seven hit, striking out one, and walking two; while Courtney Warr out of Theodore High in Mobile, Ala., relieved in the fourth, giving up five hits and recording a strikeout.
            Jones County finished with 12 hits, led by Reagan Gavin’s double and single; while Brooke David and Rebecca Dunn had two singles each. Bethany Volking doubled, while Karley Crosby, Makenzie Hawkins, C.C. Lawn, Relanda McFarland, and Kalyn McNabb all had base hits.
            PRCC committed two errors in the game to JCJC’s one.
            In the nightcap game, the Lady Bobcats went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first and that score remained intact until the top of the fifth when The River tied it up off three base hits and an error.
            Jones answered with a solo run in the bottom off the frame when Dunn smacked a one-out double and scored off Angela Land’s ensuing single to regain the lead at 3-2.
            After a scoreless sixth, Pearl River tied it up with a solo run in the seventh when Scronce led off with a double and scored an out later off an error. After JCJC went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame, things headed into extra innings.
            Warr was PRCC’s runner at second to kick off the eighth, scoring off a two-out double by Shannon Brown of Petal High. In the bottom of the eighth, Dunn was JCJC’s runner at second. She moved to third off Land’s sacrifice and scored off Barrett’s ground out to tie it up at 4-4.
            The ninth went scoreless, but the Lady Wildcats tallied two in the 10th. With Kelsea Lewis of Oak Grove High at second base, Heather Boutwell, also of Oak Grove High, followed with an RBI single. Two outs later, Kaci Lantrip of Terry High pushed Boutwell home for a 6-4 lead with a double to left field.
            In the bottom of the inning, Crosby was JCJC’s runner at second and lead off batter Hawkins walked. Crosby scored off David’s base hit to center for the game’s final run.
            Starter Brittany LeBlanc (9-4) out of North Vermillion High in Maurice, La., picked up the win in going the distance, giving up six hits, striking out two, and walking three; while Jones starter Michele Hester (9-3) got the loss. She also pitched the distance, giving up nine hits, striking out two, and walking three.
            Scronce paced Pearl River’s nine-hit effort with a double and a single, while Emily Jackson, another Theodore High recruit, had two base hits. Brown and Lantrip doubled, while Boutwell, Whitney Waits of Oak Grove High, and Warr had singles.
            Jones County finished with six hits, led by McFarland with two singles, while Dunn doubled and David, Land, and Lawn all had base hits.
            The Lady Bobcats committed three errors in the game to the Lady Wildcats’ none.
            PRCC and JCJC split in a previous doubleheader played March 13 in Poplarville. The River won the first game 10-9, while Jones was a 16-6 winner in the nightcap.
            The Lady Wildcats resume South Division action Wednesday when they travel to East Central in Decatur for a 1 p.m. make up twin bill (originally scheduled for April 6, but rained out), then PRCC returns home to host division rival Copiah-Lincoln Saturday for a 12 noon twin bill.
            Following its Co-Lin, PRCC eyes four more doubleheaders, including fifth-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast in Perkinston on Wednesday, April 17 (3 p.m. division DH); Hinds at home on Saturday, April 20 (12 noon division DH), top-ranked LSU-Eunice on Tuesday, April 23 (3 p.m.), East Central on Saturday, April 27 (12 noon division DH).
            The top four finishers in the North and South divisions earn berths in the MACJC State Tournament set for May 2-4 at the home field of the South Division champion.

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