POPLARVILLE Alyssa Graeter smashed a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to propel Pearl River Lady Wildcats to a 5-3 upset victory over No. 1-ranked LSU-Eunice (La.) in the opening game of an NJCAA softball doubleheader here Thursday, handing the powerful Lady Bengals only their third loss of the 2012 season. LSU-E bounced back in the nightcap game to take a two-hit, 5-0 shutout to improve to 25-3 overall. PRCC is now 8-11. The Lady Bengals, who claimed the NJCAA No. 1 final ranking the past two seasons along with a No. 5 finish in 2009, rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth to grab a 3-2 lead their first of the contest before The River rebounded in the bottom of the frame for the win. In the bottom of the sixth, Whitney Waits of Oak Grove High led off with a line-drive single to left field, moved to second off a sacrifice bunt by Janessa Dedeaux of Poplarville High, and scored to tie it up off a double to center by Heather Hester of Hancock County High. Graeter, a sophomore shortstop who prepped at Poplarville High, followed with her game-winning dinger over the left center field fence. A strikeout later, Christina Hart out of Northshore High in Slidell, La., singled before Amanda Emerson of Sumrall High fouled out to end the inning. Starting pitcher Hester retired three straight in the top of the seventh to end the game. Pearl Rive went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first when Dedeaux cracked a one-out double to center field and Hester followed with a single. An out later, Neely McCrary of Petal High reached on an error, scoring Dedeaux and Hester before Hart struck out to end the inning. After a scoreless second, the Lady Bengals scored their first run when Jaci Trahan hit a one-out triple to right and Brooke Ort wound up at second base after outrunning a bunt. Taylor Simon bunted Trahan home to make it 2-1 before Hester retired two straight. LSU-E left runners at first and second via walks in the top of the fourth and runners at second and third in the fifth via back-to-back singles and an error before grabbing its brief lead in the top of the sixth. Hester (3-2) got the win in going the distance, giving up seven hits, striking out five, and walking three; while starter Tiny Schulz (12-1) picked up her first loss of the season in going the distance for the visitors. She also gave up seven hits and struck out six. Schulz and Emily Trahan led the Lady Bengals at the plate with two singles each, while Jaci Trahan tripled (one RBI) and Ort and Simon (one RBI) both has base hits. Hester was the Lady Wildcats top batter with a double and a single (one RBI), while Graeter homered (two RBIs), Dedeaux doubled, and Emerson, Hart, and Waits had base hits. Each team committed one error in the game. In the nightcap, Pearl River managed only four base runners the entire game via walks by Dedeaux in the first and Emerson in the fifth and singles by Morghan Cuevas of Purvis High in the fifth and starting pitcher Brittany LeBlanc out of North Vermillion High in Lafayette, La., in the seventh. LSU-E went up 2-0 in the top of the opening frame when Simon cracked a one-out single to right field, stole second, and scored off Schulz base hit to right. With Schulz at second, Jaci Trahan drove her home with a single to center. Trahan was nailed at second on an attempted steal before LeBlanc retired Pamela Wainwright for the final out. In the top of the second, Emily Trahan led off with a single to left, stole second, moved to third on Doren Welch ground out to second, and scored off Jacey Armstrong base hit down the third-base line to make it 3-0. The Lady Bengals loaded the bases in the third when Jaci Trahan and Wainwright cracked two-out singles and Emily Trahan walked, but LeBlanc struck out Kaylee Guidry to squash the threat. After a scoreless fourth, Simon led off the fifth with a single to right, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored off Schulz sacrifice fly. After Jaci Trahan grounded out to short, Wainwright singled to center, stole second, and scored off Emily Trahan base hit to right field for the game final run. Starter Guidry (17-2) got the win in going the distance for LSU-E, giving up two hits, striking out six, and walking two; while LeBlanc (4-5) got the loss. She also pitched the distance, giving up 11 hits, striking out three, and walking one. Armstrong (one RBI), Simon, Emily Trahan (one RBI), Jaci Trahan (one RBI), and Wainwright led the Lady Bengals 11-hit attack with two singles a piece; while Schulz singled (two RBIs). Both teams played error free. LSU-Eunice swept Pearl River in an earlier doubleheader played Feb. 27 in Eunice, La., taking 9-1 and 6-1 victories. PRCC returns to action Saturday when it travels to Faulkner State (Ala.) in Bay Minette, Ala., for a 1 p.m. doubleheader before putting its 1-3 MACJC South Division mark on the line Wednesday with a road trip to Miss. Gulf Coast in Perkinston for a 3 p.m. twin bill. The River then hosts division rival Southwest Miss. Thursday, March 22, in Lady Wildcat Stadium in a make-up doubleheader at 3 p.m. (postponed from March 9 due to rain-out). 30 Pearl River Lady Wildcats swept Baton Rouge CC in women doubleheader softball action here Monday with a pair of 2-1, 4-3 come-from-behind victories. PRCC improved to 7-10 overall with the sweep, while the visiting Lady Bears dropped to 3-21. In the first game, things were scoreless for the first two-and-a-half innings, but Morghan Cuevas of Purvis High crushed a lead off home run in the bottom of the third to give the Lady Wildcats a 1-0 lead. An out later, Whitney Waits of Oak Grove High outran a bunt for a base hit, while Janessa Dedeaux of Poplarville High reached after being belted by a pitch. An out later, Neely McCrary of Petal High walked to load the bases before Alyssa Graeter of Poplarville High hit into a force out to end the inning. Baton Rouge rebounded to tie it up in the top of the fourth. Natalie Powell led off with a single through short, Stephanie Picard followed with a double to right center, and Katelyn Hines singled in Powell. Haley Grantham smashed a line drive to center fielder Whitney Waits of Oak Grove High, while then nailed courtesy runner Mallory Bourdreaux at home for the second out. Dara Butler followed with a single, but Kamryn Hill lined to first for the final out with things knotted at 1-1. Christina Hart out of Northshore High in Slidell, La., led off the bottom of the frame with a homer over the left field fence to put The River up for good. Amanda Emerson was then belted by a pitch and Cuevas reached on a fielder choice before BRCC starter Grantham retired two straight to end the inning. McNeely (1-2) got the win in her four innings on the mound, giving up six hits and walking one; while Heather Hester of Hancock County High relieved in the fifth, giving up one hit, striking out one, and walking one. Grantham got the loss in going the distance, giving up six hits, striking out two, walking one, and hitting a batter. Picard led the Lady Bears six-hit effort with a double, while Butler, Kelsey Couvillion, Hill, Hines (one RBI), and Powell all had singles. The Lady Wildcats also finished with six hits, led by Hester two singles; while Cuevas (one RBI) and Hart (one RBI) both homered and Grater and Waits both had base hits. Both teams played error-free in the game. In the nightcap, the Lady Bears threatened to blow it open in the first inning when they loaded the bases, but couldnt push a run home. Alysa Williams and Powell both cracked one-out singles, then Butler singled an out later before Bourdreaux lined out to third to squash the threat. In the bottom of the frame, Hester had a two-out single to left and Graeter walked, but BRCC starter Paige Fink struck out Hart to end the inning. In the top of the second, Grantham led off with a double to left center, then Haylee St. Amant reached on an error. With runners at first and third, PRCC starter Brittany LeBlanc out of North Vermillion High in Lafayette, La., struck out Blair Sanders before Williams reached on an error, pushing two runs home before LeBlanc Kd Powell for the final out. PRCC managed a base runner in the bottom of the inning when Amanda Emerson of Sumrall High drew a two-out walk, while Baton Rouge went three up, three down in the top of the third. In the bottom of the inning, Pearl River scored its first run when Hester drew a two-out walk, moved to second on a balk, and scored when Graeter reached on an error. After Graeter moved to second off another balk, Hart popped to second to end the inning. After a scoreless fourth, the Lady Wildcats tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. Dedeaux led off with a double off the left field fence, Hester outran a bunt for a base hit before being nailed at second on an attempted steal. Graeter single down the first-base line scored Dedeaux to knot things a 2-2. Hart popped to short and LeBlanc grounded to third to end the inning. The sixth was scoreless, but BRCC took the lead in the seventh when Fink led off with a single to center and Blair Sanders was hit by a pitch an out later. That set the stage for Williams RBI double to right center to make it 3-2. LeBlanc then retired Powell and Hines for the final outs. Pearl River bounced back in the bottom of the frame to take the win. Lead off Dedeaux was hit by a pitch, moved to second off Hester sacrifice bunt, then scored to tie it up off Graeter double off the center field fence. An out late, LeBlanc singled to score Graeter from second for the win. LeBlanc (4-4) got the win in going the distance, giving up eight hits, striking out two, and hitting a batter; while Fink was the losing pitcher. She also hurled the distance, giving up nine hits, striking out five, and walking three. BRCC finished with eight hits, led by Williams double and single (one RBI), while Powell had two base hits and Bourdreaux, Butler, Fink, and Grantham all singled. Graeter paced PRCC nine-hit attack with a double and a single (one RBI), while Emerson and Hester had two base hits each, Dedeaux doubled, and LeBlanc (one RBI) and ETrareo Warren of Meridian High both singled. Each team committed two errors in the game. Pearl River and Baton Rouge split in an earlier doubleheader played Feb. 23 in Baton Rouge, La., with BRCC won first game of the twin bill 10-2, while PRCC was a 9-1 winner in the nightcap game. The Lady Wildcats return to action Thursday when they host LSU-Eunice (La.) in a 3 p.m. doubleheader before traveling to Faulkner State (Ala.) in Bay Minette, Ala., Saturday for a 1 p.m. twin bill.
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