Lady Raiders smack Lady Wildcats

POPLARVILLE The reigning MACJC state champion Pearl River Lady Wildcats picked up their first losses of the 2011 season here Saturday as Northwest Florida State took a pair of 8-0, 7-3 victories. PRCC dropped to 4-2 overall, while NFS, a Division I powerhouse located in Niceville, Fla., improved to 11-1. Saturday was The River annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day a.k.a. Pink Games with a portion of the day proceeds going to benefit the Deanna Favre Hope Foundation. Favre, the wife of legendary NFL quarterback Brett Favre, is a former student-athlete at PRCC. In the first game of the doubleheader, things were scoreless for the first four innings before the Lady Raiders rallied for four in the fifth, one in the sixth, and three in the seventh to take the shutout win. Pearl River starter Sheila Hall of Dutchtown, La., shined in the contest, striking out seven batters. In the top of the second, Maria Tanaka smashed a lead off double to right center field and moved to third off Shelby Cox ground out to short before Hall struck out two straight. In the ensuing frame, Hall opened with a K, then loaded the bases with three straight singles before striking out Ashlyn Masters and Tanaka grounded out. In the bottom of the third, PRCC left runners stranded at first and third when Brittney Gary of Slidell (La.) High cracked a one-out single and Samantha Spence of George County High outran an infield grounder to first, but Jordan Adams of DIberville High lined out to second base to end the inning. In the top of the fourth, Cox led off with a double to left center, moved to third off Gwen Jones ground out, but, again, Hall struck out to straight to end the threat. In the fifth, the Lady Raiders unloaded with their first two batters reaching base. Missy Milligan moved to third off Whitney Fletcher sacrifice fly and scored the game first run off a passed ball. Master followed with a double down the third-base line, setting the stage for Tanaka RBI single. Cox pushed another run home with an infield ground out, while Hall was tagged with an illegal pitch which pushed another run home to make it 4-0. In the top of the sixth, Milligan cracked a two-out single, stole second, and scored off Dunson single to make it 5-0. In the top of the seventh, Masters led off with a double and Tanaka followed with a towering fly ball to the left center field fence only to see Lady Wildcat outfielders Brandy Rester of Poplarville High and Lacey Freeman of Forrest County AHS collided in pursuit of the ball and both Lady Raiders rounded the bags. Jones then singled and scored off Amber Henson base hit an out later for the game final run. Starter Emily Rousseau got the win in going the distance, giving up only four hits and striking out 11; while Hall (2-1) got the loss. She also went the distance, giving up 13 hits. Dunson led the Lady Raiders at the plate with three singles (one RBI), while Masters had two doubles, Tanaka doubled and singled (three RBIs), Milligan had two base hits, Cox doubled (one RBI), and Fletcher singled. Alyssa Graeter of Poplarville High, Gary, Rester, and Spence all singled for Pearl River. Northwest Florida State played mistake-free in the game, while PRCC committed two errors. In the nightcap, things were knotted at 1-1 after one, but the Lady Raiders bounced back to got up 3-1 in the top of the fourth. The Lady Wildcats tied it up at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth before NFS iced the win with three in the sixth and a solo run in the seventh. Starter Allison Rice got the win in her four innings on the mound, giving up four hits; while Rousseau relieved in the fifth, giving up four hit, striking out four, and walking one. Heather Hester (2-1) of Hancock County High got the loss in going the distance, giving up 15 hits, striking out one, walking four, and hitting a batter. Masters led the Lady Raiders with a double and two singles, while Tanaka had three singles, Jennifer Vachon doubled and singled, Jones and Milligan had two singles each, Fletcher and Erica Vasquez both doubled, and Dunson singled. Rester had two base hits for the Lady Wildcats, while Adams (one RBI), Graeter, and Hester (one RBI) all doubled, and Gary, Tiffany Reed of Picayune High, and Spence (one RBI) all singled. Northwest Florida committed one error in the game to Pearl River four. The Lady Wildcats return to action Tuesday when they travel to LSU-Eunice in Eunice, La., for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday before returning home to host MACJC non-division foe Mississippi Delta Thursday in a 3 p.m. twin bill.

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