MCCOMB --- Pearl River Community College snapped its eight-game losing streak with a MACJC South Division doubleheader softball sweep over Southwest Mississippi here Friday on the McComb High School campus.
The visiting Lady Wildcats took a 2-1 victory in an 11-inning marathon contest to open the afternoon’s action before bouncing back with a lopsided 9-1 win (eight innings) over the host Lady Bears in the nightcap game.
With the sweep, PRCC took over sole possession of fourth place in the South Division race, improving to 17-14 overall and 7-9 in division play, while Southwest, the division’s cellar dweller, dropped to 13-17 and 3-13.
In the opening game, winning pitcher Rachel Hickman of Poplarville High shined, hurling a two-hitter in going the 11-inning distance, while the Lady Wildcats banged out an impressive 11 hits.
The River went up 1-0 right off the bat when Hannah Holloway of Petal High cracked a one-out single, stole second base, and scored off a double to left field by Brooke Roberts of St. Amant (La.) High.
Southwest managed to tie it up in the bottom of the sixth when Shaden Miller reached on an error with one out, stole second, and scored an out later when Jessica Pipkins reached on an error.
Pearl River scored the game-winning run in the top of the 11th when Branda Northrop of Poplarville High smacked a one-out single and Breanna Herndon of Poplarville High followed with an RBI double to center field.
Hickman (6-7) got the win, giving up two hits, striking out nine, walking none, and hitting a batter, while SMCC starter Maddy Teague (2-7) got the loss. She also pitched the distance, giving up 11 hits, striking out seven, and walking four.
Herndon (one RBI) and Roberts (one RBI) paced PRCC at the plate with both belting doubles and singles, while Hickman, Holloway, and Northrop had two base hits apiece. Skylar Cook of St. Amant (La.) High also singled for the Lady Wildcats.
Jana McEwen and Teague had singles for Southwest, while Pipkins had an RBI.
Pearl River committed a whopping five errors in the game to Southwest’s three.
In the nightcap game, things were scoreless for the first three innings before Pearl River opened the offensive floodgates in the top of the fourth with a five-run onslaught. Mary Grace Key tripled, Roberts doubled, and Herndon, Briana Leonard of John Curtis Christian (La.) High, Northrop, and Shay Rosser of D’Iberville High singled in the inning.
The Lady Bears scored its only run in the bottom of the frame off a lead off homer out of left by Sarah Roberts, while The River padded its lead with four more runs in the fifth.
Holloway led off with a solo homer over the left field wall, while Northrop doubled, Dani Barton of Harrison Central High and Rosser had base hits, and Key walked in the inning. Southwest managed only two base runners in the bottom of the frame and the game ended via the eight-run rule.
Starting pitcher Cook (7-4) got the win in her four innings of work, giving up six hits and striking out one, while Hickman pitched the fifth and final inning, striking out two and walking one. Lady Bear starter Macy Fulton (7-8) go the loss in going the distance, giving up 12 hits, striking out two, and walking three.
Northrop paced The River’s 12-hit attack with a double and two singles (three RBIs), while Roberts doubled and singled (three RBIs), Rosser had two base hits (one RBI), Holloway homered (one RBI), Key tripled (one RBI), and Barton, Leonard, and Herndon all singled.
Southwest finished with six hits, led by Roberts’ home run (one RBI), while Brooke Chaffee, Seana Flynn, Fulton, McEwen, and Austin Pruitt all had base hits.
PRCC played error free in the game, while SMCC committed one defensive miscue.
Elsewhere on Friday, first place and No. 1-ranked Jones County (14-2) split with third place East Central (11-5) with a 4-0 shutout win before falling 4-1 in Decatur, while second-place Mississippi Gulf Coast (13-3) swept sixth place Copiah-Lincoln (5-11) 7-6 and 4-3 in Perkinston. Fifth place Meridian (6-10) split with Hinds, tied with Co-Lin at 5-11), with a 10-9 loss before defeating the Lady Eagles 4-3 in Raymond.
Six more South Division doubleheaders remain for PRCC, including Hinds at Raymond on Monday before hosting Meridian in Poplarville Wednesday. Mississippi Gulf Coast plays host in Perkinston Wednesday, April 8, top-ranked Jones County visits The River Saturday, April 11, in Poplarville, Co-Lin visits Tuesday, April 14, in Poplarville, and East Central plays host Friday, April 17, in Decatur in both teams’ regular season finales.
The top four finishers in the North and South division earn berths in MACJC playoff series set April 24-25 with those winners grabbing berth in the MACJC Tournament set May 1-3 at the South Division champion.
PRCC swept SMCC in a previous doubleheader Feb. 27 in Poplarville with the Lady Wildcats picking up 8-0 and 4-2 victories to open MACJC South Division play for both squads.
Pearl River’s division doubleheaders at Hinds on Monday before hosting Meridian Wednesday eye 3 p.m. starting times.
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PEARL RIVER vs. SOUTHWEST MISS.
MACJC South Division Doubleheader
Played Friday, March 27, 2015 @ McComb, MS
Pearl River (16-14, 6-9) 100 000 000 01 -- 2 11 5
Southwest Miss. (13-16, 3-12) 000 001 000 00 -- 1 2 3
WP: Rachel Hickman (6-7), starter, distance, 2 hits, 9 K, 0 BB, 1 HBP.
Also Pitching: None.
Catcher: Brooke Roberts.
LP: Maddy Teague (2-7), starter, distance, 11 hits, 7 K, 4 BB.
Also Pitching: None.
Catcher: Brooke Chaffee.
Pearl River: Breanna Herndon 2B, 1B (RBI); Brooke Roberts 2B, 1B (RBI); Rachel Hickman 2-1B, Hannah Holloway 2-1B, Branda Northrop 2-1B, Skylar Cook 1B.
Southwest Miss.: Jana McEwen 1B, Maddy Teague 1B. Jessica Pipkins 1 RBI.
Pearl River (17-14, 7-9) 000 54X X -- 9 12 0
Southwest Miss. (13-17, 3-13) 000 10X X -- 1 6 1
WP: Skylar Cook (7-4), starter, 4 innings, 6 hits, 1 K, 0 BB.
Also Pitching: Rachel Hickman (5), 0 hits, 2 K, 1 BB.
Catcher: Briana Leonard.
LP: Macy Fulton (7-8), starter, distance, 12 hits, 2 K, 3 BB.
Also Pitching: None.
Catcher: Brooke Chaffee.
Pearl River: Branda Northrop 2B, 2-1B (3 RBI); Brooke Roberts 2B, 1B (3 RBI); Shay Rosser 2-1B (RBI), Hannah Holloway HR (RBI), Mary Grace Key 3B (RBI), Dani Barton 1B, Briana Leonard 1B, Breanna Herndon 1B.
Southwest Miss.: Sarah Roberts HR (RBI), Brooke Chaffee 1B, Seana Flynn 1B, Macy Fulton 1B, Jana McEwen 1B, Austin Pruitt 1B.
NOTE: PRCC swept SMCC in a previous doubleheader Feb. 27 in Poplarville with the Lady Wildcats picking up 8-0 and 4-2 victories to open MACJC South Division play for both squads.
UP NEXT: Pearl River resumes action Monday when it hosts South Division rival Hinds for a 3 p.m. doubleheader in Lady Wildcat Stadium before Meridian visits Wednesday for a 3 p.m. division twin bill.