River sweeps Gulf Coast

April 16, 2012 - 10:52am -- braswell

POPLARVILLE Pearl River Lady Wildcats swept 12th-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast in MACJC South Division softball action for the first time since 2009 here Saturday just two days after splitting with the arch-rival Lady Bulldogs in a twin bill played in Perkinston. PRCC canned MGCCC 3-2 in the first game of Saturday doubleheader despite committing five errors before bouncing back with a 7-4 victory in the nightcap to improve to 19-16 overall and 11-7 in division play. Gulf Coast is now 20-10 and sport an identical 11-7 division mark. The Lady Wildcats last swept the Lady Bulldogs on April 18, 2009, in Poplarville with 4-0 and 11-3 wins. This past Thursday, the two teams each grabbed 5-3 victories. In Saturday first game, Pearl River went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning when Janessa Dedeaux, a William Carey University signee out of Poplarville High, cracked a one-out single to center field before Alyssa Graeter of Poplarville High singled through short an out later. Heather Hester of Hancock County High followed with a two-run double down the third-base line. PRCC starting pitcher Neely McCrary of Petal High then singled to right before Lady Bulldog starter Megan Lamb struck out Morghan Cuevas of Purvis High to end the inning. After a scoreless second, Gulf Coast scored a solo run in the top of the third when Lea Kittrell led off with a single, Katy White reached on a fielder choice, and Kristin Albritton smacked an RBI double off the left field fence an out later before Lamb grounded to second for the final out. The Lady Bulldogs tied it up in the top of the fourth when Shajuan Buckley reached on a one-out error and scored an out later when Britton Ross infield pop up was muffed by the Lady Wildcats. Kittrell then reached on a third PRCC defensive miscue before White popped to first for the final out. The River regained the lead for good in the bottom of the frame when Cuevas smashed a one-out homer of the left center field fence. Pearl River left runners at first and second in the bottom of the fifth when lead off Dedeaux was hit by a pitch and Hester reached on an error, while Gulf Coast left base runners stranded at second and third in the top of the sixth. Buckley led off the inning with a double off the left field fence before Breanna Desporte reached on the Lady Wildcats fifth error of the game. Desporte stole second before Kittrell lined out to third and White grounded to third for the final out. The Lady Wildcats left runners at first and third in the bottom of the frame when ETrareo Warren of Meridian High outran a one-out bunt for a base hit and Whitney Waits of Oak Grove High duplicated the feat an out later before Dedeaux lined to short to end the inning. McCrary retired three straight in the top of the seventh to end the game. McCrary (5-5) got the win in going the distance, giving up six hits, striking out four, and walking one; while Lamb (10-4) got the loss. She also pitched the distance, giving up nine hits, striking out five, walking one, and hitting a batter. Kittrell led MGCCC six-hit effort with a pair of singles, while Buckley and Kristin Albritton (one RBI) both doubled. Julie Butler and Courtney Moore had base hits. PRCC finished with eight hits, led by Cuevas homer (one RBI), while Shannon Brown of Petal High and Hillary Dickens of Picayune High (one RBI) both doubled. Dedeaux, Graeter, McCrary, Waits, and Warren all had singles for the Lady Wildcats. The Lady Bulldogs committed two errors in the game. In the second game, the Lady Wildcats went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Dedeaux hit a one-out double to left center. She scored off a wild pick off throw to third when Hester grounded out to short before Graeter grounded to the pitcher for the final out. Gulf Coast took a short-lived 3-1 lead in the top of the second when Lamb led off with a single to left and Desporte followed an out later with a blooper base hit to center. A strike out later, Ross belted a three-run homer over the left center field fence. Kittrell followed with a single before White grounded to short for the final out. PRCC knotted it up in the bottom of the inning when Dickens reached via a passed ball-third strike by the Lady Bulldogs and Brittany LeBlanc out of North Vermillion High in Lafayette, La., reached on a fielder choice and saw Dickens safe at second via a throwing error. Two outs later after a double steal, Brown singled in both runners with a bash to center field before Waits grounded to first to end the inning. After Gulf Coast went three up, three down in the top of the third, the Lady Wildcats took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Dedeaux led off with an up-the-middle single, but wound up at third due to a Gulf Coast throwing error. She scored when Hester outran a bunt for a base hit to make it 4-3. Graeter followed with a single to left before Cuevas hit into a force out at third two outs later to end the inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Pearl River padded its lead when Warren led off with a double to left center, moved to third off Brown sac bunt, and scored off Waits ensuing sac bunt to make it 5-3. Dedeaux was then hit by a pitch, Hester and Graeter singled to load the bases, but Dickens flew to left for the final out. Gulf Coast cut The River lead to one in the top of the fifth when lead off Kittrell was belted by a pitch and moved to second off White sacrifice bunt before scoring off Albritton base hit to center field. Lamb grounded to second for the final out. The Lady Wildcats scored the final runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth when Waits led off with a single and scored off Dedeaux double off the left field fence. Dedeaux moved to third off Hester ground out and was granted a free base for the score when MGCCC pitcher Fallon Dye was tagged with an illegal pitch. Graeter then fouled out to third and Dickens struck out to end the inning. Starter Hester retired three straight in the top of the sixth to end the game. Hester (7-3) picked up the win in going the distance, giving up five hits, striking out three, walking one, and hitting a batter; while Dye (9-5) got the loss. She also went the distance, giving up 11 hits, striking out four, and hitting a batter. Desporte led the Lady Bulldogs at the plate with two singles, while Ross homered (three RBIs) and Albritton (one RBI), Kittrell, and Lamb all had base hits. Dedeaux led the Lady Wildcats with two doubles and a single (one RBI), while Warren doubled and singled, Graeter and Hester had two base hits each, and Brown (one RBI) and Waits (one RBI) both singled. PRCC committed two errors in the game to MGCCC one. Two doubleheaders remain for Pearl River in the regular season starting Tuesday at Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson (3 p.m.) and at Jones County Friday, April 20 (4 p.m.). The top four finishers in the MACJC North and South divisions earn berths in April 26-28''s MACJC State Tournament set for North champ Itawamba CC in Fulton.

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