Jones smacks Pearl River 4-1 to open Region 23 Tournament

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CLINTON Fourth-seeded Jones County pushed fifth-seeded Pearl River into the losers bracket of the 2011 Region 23 Softball Tournament underway here at Traceway Park with a 4-1 opening-round defeat.The Lady Bobcats scored all of their runs in the bottom of the first inning, as well as collecting five of their nine hits in the frame.JCJC improved to 34-13, while PRCC dropped to 21-22.After Pearl River went three up, three down in the top of the first; JCJC cracked four straight singles by Heidi Garcich, Haley Brooke Smith, Mallory Cowart, and Shannon Mosley to kick off the bottom of the frame to go up 1-0. Jessmar Walters followed with a bases-loaded sacrifice for a second run before K.T. Perkins walked to reload the bases and Stacia Whitaker answered with a two-run single to right to make it 4-0. PRCC starter Heather Hester of Hancock County struck out Alex Faciane to end the inning.The second, third, fourth, and fifth frames went scoreless until Lady Wildcat Jordan Adams of DIberville High smashed a lead off homer of the left center field fence in the top of the sixth.All told, PRCC left five runners stranded during the game; while JCJC left seven.Lady Bobcat starter Lauren Candies (17-8) got the win in going the distance, giving up five hits, striking out one, and walking one; while Hester (9-13) also went the distance. She gave up nine hits, struck out five, and walked one.Janessa Dedeaux of Poplarville High paced Pearl River at the plate with a pair of singles, while Adams homered (one RBI), Paris Redd of Greene County High doubled, and Lacey Freeman of Forrest County AHS singled.Garcich and Smith led the Lady Bobcats with two singles each, while Perkins doubled and Cowart (one RBI), Jade McLeod, Mosley, and Whitaker (two RBIs) all had base hits. Walters had an RBI.Pearl River falls into the losers bracket and will face the loser of Thursday No. 3 LSU-Eunice vs. No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast at 12 noon on Friday, while No. 6 East Mississippi, 16-2 losers to LSU-E on Thursday, will face the loser of the Thursday No. 1 East Central, the MACJC state champions, vs. Jones County game at 12 noon Friday. The loser of those contests will be eliminated from the tournament and see an end to their seasons.Jones County faced East Central at 6 p.m. Thursday, while LSU-E faced Mississippi Gulf Coast at 6 p.m. Thursday (results of those two games were unavailable).