River wraps season with 7-1 semi-final loss to host Jones in Region 23 Tournament

ELLISVILLE --- Pearl River Community College wrapped its 2014 softball season here Saturday with a 7-1 loss to second-ranked Jones County in the Region 23 Tournament semi-finals in Community Bank Park.
The Lady Wildcats finished the year at 28-20 overall, while the host Lady Bobcats improved to 47-2 and took on top-ranked LSU-Eunice (La.) in the championship game later Saturday. JCJC, which fell to LSU-E 5-2 in Game 3 of the tournament, fell to the Lady Bengals 6-1 in the regional championship game 6-1 that was called after four-and-a-half innings due to weather conditions.
Both squads, however, have copped berths in the NJCAA National Tournament set for next Wednesday through Thursday at Traceway Park in Clinton.
The River’s semi-final loss marked its sixth loss of the year to Jones County, as the Lady Bobcats swept the Lady Wildcats in both regular season doubleheaders before handing PRCC a 9-0 (five innings) loss in opening round action of the MACJC State Tournament in Fulton and a 4-1 setback in its regional opener on Thursday.
In Saturday’s season finale, PRCC starter Rachel Hickman of Poplarville High gave up one hit in the first four innings, but JCJC unleashed a six-run effort in the fifth.
In fact, Pearl River seemed primed and ready to take the lead in the bottom of the third when Hannah Holloway of Petal High led off with a walk and moved to third an out later when Allie Flint of Madison Central High bashed a single to right. With runners at first and third, Megan Scronce of Petal High hit into a double play to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Jones lead off batter Bailey Stokes drew a walk, moved to second off Reagan Gavin’s sacrifice bunt, and scored when Savannah Lyon cracked an RBI single to center. Lyon wound up at second with her base hit and scored an out later off Kimberly Nilsson’s double to center.
Courtney Warr of Theodore (Ala.) High relieved Hickman at that point and immediately gave up a two-run homer to Tori Dew to make it 4-0 before Lauren Holifield doubled to center, Brittany Seale singled to center, and Makenzie Hawkins followed with an RBI single, winding up at second, to give the Lady Bobcats a five-run lead.
Ashley Hawkins, another Theodore High product, relieved Warr and saw another run cross the plate via a passed ball before retiring Stokes for the final out.
In the bottom of the frame, lead off Hickman struck out, but Holloway answered with a solo homer over the center field fence to make it 6-1. Kaci Lantrip of Terry High followed with a base hit to left field, but JCJC pitcher Samantha Buller retired Flint and Scronce to end the inning.
After a scoreless sixth, the Lady Bobcats scored the game’s final run in the seventh when Dew led off with an up-the-middle single, Karla Santiago drew a walk an out later, Hawkins singled to left to load the bases, and Dew crossed home plate off Stokes sacrifice fly to right before Gavin fouled out.
Pearl River went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Buller (28-1) got the win in going the distance, giving up four hits, striking out four, and walking two, while Hickman (21-10) picked up the loss in her four-and-two-thirds of work. She gave up three hits, struck out one, walking two, and hit a batter, while Warr gave up four hits after facing four batters, and Hawkins went two-and-a-third, giving up two hits and walking two.
Holloway’s solo homer led the Lady Wildcats at the plate, while Flint, Emily Jackson of Theodore (Ala.) High, and Lantrip all had base hits.
Dew paced the Lady Bobcats’ nine-hit attack with a homer run and a single (two RBIs), while Hawkins (one RBI) and Seale had two singles each, Holifield and Wagner both doubled, and Lyon had a base hit (one RBI). Nilsson and Stokes both had RBIs for JCJC.
Both teams played error free in the game.
Here is a breakdown of the tournament games:
 GAME 1 (Thursday): LSU-E 10, Mississippi Gulf Coast 2 (6 innings).
 GAME 2 (Thursday): Jones County 4, Pearl River 1.
 GAME 3 (Thursday): LSU-E 5, Jones County 2.
 GAME 4 (Thursday): Pearl River 12, Mississippi Gulf Coast 3 (5 innings).
 GAME 5 (Saturday): Jones County 7, Pearl River 1.
 GAME 6 (Saturday): LSU-E 6, Jones County 1 (4.5 innings, weather game).
--- 30 ---
May 8-10 / Jones County Junior College / Ellisville, MS
Saturday, May 10
Jones County (47-2)     000   060    1  --   7      9     0
Pearl River     (28-20)   000   010    0   --  1      4     0
WP: Samantha Buller (28-1), starter, distance, 4 hits, 4 K, 2 BB.
Also Pitching: None.
Catcher: Bailey Stokes.
LP: Rachel Hickman (21-10), starter, 4.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP.
Also Pitching: Courtney Warr (5), 4 hits; Ashley Hawkins (5), 2.1 innings, 2 hits, 2 BB.
Catcher: Kelsea Lewis.
Pearl River: Hannah Holloway HR (RBI), Allie Flint 1B, Emily Jackson 1B, Kaci Lantrip 1B.
Jones County: Tori Dew HR, 1B (2 RBI); Makenzi Hawkins 2-1B (RBI), Brittanty Seale 2-1B, Lauren Holifield 2B, Bridgette Wagner 2B, Savannah Lyon 1B (RBI). Kimberly Nilsson RBI, Bailey Stokes RBI.
NOTE: No. 1-ranked LSU-Eunce defeated Miss. Gulf Coast 10-2 (six innings) to open Thursday’s regional action prior to PRCC’s defeat to host Jones County. LSU-E defeated JCJC 5-2 in Game 3, while Pearl River followed with its victory over Miss. Gulf Coast. MGCCC is eliminated from the tournament and ends its season. Due to Friday’s forecast of rain, the action will resume Saturday.
UP NEXT: Pearl River and Jones County eye a rematch Saturday at 11 a.m. with the winner facing LSU-E in the championship rounds immediately afterwards. PRCC or JCJC will have to defeat LSU-E to claim the regional title. Both teams in the title bout earn berths in the NJCAA National Tournament.

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