Jones sweeps River

POPLARVILLE Tenth-ranked Jones County Junior College routed host Pearl River in MACJC South Division softball doubleheader action here Tuesday taking lopsided 10-1 and 9-1 victories. The visiting Lady Bobcats improved to 24-3 overall and 10-2 in division play with the sweep, while the Lady Wildcats dropped to 11-14 and 3-5. Were at a huge crossroad as far as the post-season is concerned, said 10th-year PRCC head coach Leigh White. Another sweep and we could be doomed. The top four finishers in the MACJC North and South divisions qualify for April 26-28''s state tournament set at the home field of the North Division champion. Our remaining 14 games of the regular season are against division opponents and weve got to get down to business, White added. Heading into Tuesday twin bill, Jones was first in the South, followed by Mississippi Gulf Coast, East Central, Copiah-Lincoln and Hinds (tied for fourth), Pearl River, and Southwest Mississippi. In Tuesday first game, the Lady Wildcats committed a whopping six errors, including two against the first two Lady Bobcat batters to open the game. After Relanda McFarland and Haley Brooke Smith reached via those initial defensive miscues, McFarland scored on Angela Land ground out to third. After PRCC starter Heather Hester of Hancock County High struck out Karley Crosby, Brooke David singled in Smith to make it 2-0 before Hester Kd Rebecca Dunn for the final out. In the bottom of the frame, The River responded with what would be its only run of the contest. Lead off Whitney Waits of Oak Grove High outran a grounder to third for a base hit, then Janessa Dedeaux of Poplarvillel High singled to left. The duo advanced to second and third off Hester sacrifice bunt before Alyssa Graeter of Poplarville High sacrificed Waits home to make it 2-1. Brittany LeBlanc out of North Vermillion High in Lafayette, La., grounded out to third to end the inning. After a scoreless second, JCJC padded its lead in the third when Bethany Volking led off with a double to left field and Crosby wound up at second off an up-the-middle base hit. David ensuing sacrifice fly to center scored Volking, while Crosby was nailed at home for the second out. Rebecca Dunn doubled to right center before Jessmar Walters grounded to second for the final out. After the Lady Wildcats went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame, the Lady Bobcats added their fifth and sixth runs in the fourth when Lexus Griffith drew a one-out walk and McFarland tripled to the right field fence and scored when PRCC cutoff man mishandled the throw from right fielder Shalyn Stevens of Picayune High. Hester then retired two straight. Again, PRCC went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning before committing three defensive miscues in the top of the fifth that contributed to three more JCJC runs. With one out, David wound up at second off an error before Dunn walked. Both scored off back-to-back errors before Land singled to left and Griffith followed with an RBI sacrifice to make it 8-1. Land was nailed at home for the final out. PRCC managed a base runner in the bottom of the inning when Neely McCrary reached on Jones only error of the game. JCJC left a runner stranded at third in the sixth, while Pearl River went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame. The Lady Bobcats scored their final two runs in the seventh when David led off with an up-the-middle single, Dunn walked, and Megan Hyatt smacked an RBI single to center field an out later. Dunn scored off Griffith pop out to second before McFarland grounded to second for the final out. For the fifth time in the contest, Pearl River went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning to end the game. Starter Ginger Lonergan (11-1) picked up the win in going the distance, giving up two hits and striking out six; while Hester (4-3) also went the distance. She gave up nine hit, struck out two, and walked four. McFarland led JCJC at the plate with a triple and single (two RBIs), while Dunn and Volking (one RBI) both doubled and Crosby, David (two RBIs), Hyatt (one RBI), Land, and Smith all had base hits. Griffith had two RBIs, while Walters had one. Dedeaux and Waits singled for PRCC, while Hester had an RBI. The Lady Wildcats committed six errors in the game to the Lady Bobcats one. In the nightcap, the first went scoreless, but Jones went up 2-0 in the second frame. River starter LeBlanc walked lead off batters David and Dunn before striking out Walters and Land. Griffith then singled in David and Dunn before being thrown out at second for the final out. Pearl River left LeBlanc at second after she reached on an error in the bottom of the frame, while Jones left runners and second and third in the third. Lead off McFarland outran a bunt for a base hit before Smith was belted by a pitch. A foul out later, McFarland moved to third off when Crosby grounded into a fielder choice before Smith stole second. David lined to second for the final out. In the bottom of the inning, Hillary Dickens of Picayune High belted a one-out homer over the left field fence to make it 2-1 before Dedeaux singled through short an out later. JCJC starter Lauren Candies then retired Hester to end the inning. In the top of the fourth, McFarland smashed a grand slam homer her first-ever home run of her high school or junior college fast-pitch career to make it 6-1; while the Lady Bobcats added a solo run in the fifth when David and Dunn led off with base hit and David scored an out later off Land ground out to short. ETrareo Warren of Meridian High led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, moved to second and third off Dickens and Waits ground outs, but was left stranded when Dedeaux lined to first to end the inning. In the sixth, McFarland led off with a single to center, stole second, moved to third off Smith ground out to the pitcher, and scored off Volking ground ball to third. Hester led off the bottom of the frame with a single before Graeter hit into a double play and LeBlanc grounded to the pitcher to end the inning. David led off the sixth with a base hit through second, Dunn walked, and Land cracked a bloop single over third an out later to load the corners. LeBlanc then walked Griffith to score David for the game final run. Warren managed a two-out double in the bottom of the inning before Dickens grounded out to short to end the game. Candies (10-2) got the win, giving up six hits and struck out two in going the distance, while LeBlanc (3-5) got the loss. She also went the distance, giving up eight hits, striking out seven, walking six, and hitting one batter. McFarland paced the Lady Bobcats with a grand-slam homer run and two singled (four RBIs), while David had two base hits and Dunn, Griffith (two RBIs), and Land (one RBI), Volking (one RBI) all had singles. PRCC finished with six hits, led by Warren double and single; while Dickens homered (one RBI), Christina Hart out of Northshore High in Slidell, La., doubled, and Dedeaux and Hester both had base hits. Each team committed an error in the game. Pearl River and Jones County eye a South Division rematch Friday, April 20, when the Lady Bobcats play host in Ellisville. The River returns to MACJC South Division action Thursday when it hosts Southwest Mississippi in a 2 p.m. make-up doubleheader (originally scheduled for March 9 but rained out), then division power Hinds visits Lady Wildcat Stadium Friday for a 3 p.m. twin bill. March 21''s rained out twin bill with Mississippi Gulf Coast at Perkinston has yet to be rescheduled.

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