River splits with Faulkner in softball home openers

POPLARVILLE — Pearl River’s Lady Wildcats split with Faulkner State (Ala.) in NJCAA softball action here Tuesday, winning their home opener 3-1 before falling to the visiting Lady Sun Chiefs 9-4 in the nightcap game.
            PRCC is now 3-1 on the year, while FSCC is 16-6.
            In the first game, Faulkner went up 1-0 in the top of the first before The River answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame. The Lady Wildcats scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the fifth.
            Starter Brittany LeBlanc (2-0) out of North Vermillion High in Maurice, La., got the win in going the distance; giving up eight hits, striking out one, and walking two.
            FSCC starter Taylor Felts (1-2) got the loss, allowing six hits in going the distance. She struck out six and walked seven.
            Shenena Blankenship and Sara Beth Williamson paced the Lady Sun Chiefs’ eight-hit effort with two singles each, while Erica Davis, Heather McQuirk, Katy Payne, and Melissa Wear all had base hits.
            PRCC finished with six hits, led by Heather Boutwell of Oak Grove High with three singles; while Whitney Waits, another Oak Grove High recruit, had two base hits. LeBlanc singled for the Lady Wildcats.
            Both teams played error-free.
            In the nightcap, Faulkner went up 3-0 in the top of the first inning and never relinquished its lead. Pearl River scored a run in the bottom of the frame, but FSCC answered with three in the top of the third, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth. The Lady Wildcats scored two in the bottom of the fifth and a solo run in the bottom of the seventh.
            Starter Morgan Yates (5-3) got the win in her six innings of action, giving up nine hits, striking out three, and walking three; while Makenzie Coulter pitched the seventh.
            Starter Neely McCrary (1-1) of Petal High got the loss in her three innings on the mound, giving up six hits and hitting one batter; while Courtney Warr out of Theodore High in Mobile, Ala., relieved in the fourth. She gave up three hits, struck out five, and walked four.
            Both teams finished with nine hits each with Davis, Jordan Rehl, and Williamson leading the Lady Sun Chiefs with two singles a piece; while Avery Godwin, Emily Holley, and Wear all had base hits.
            Waits topped Pearl River at the plate with three singles, while Kelsea Lewis of Oak Grove High doubled and singled. Warr had two base hits, while Shannon Brown of Petal High and McCrary both singled.
            Each squad committed two errors in the contest.
            PRCC returns to action Thursday when Meridian CC hosts in Meridian for a 1 p.m. doubleheader before traveling to Northeast Mississippi CC in Booneville Saturday for the Northeast Tournament (games, times TBA).

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