POPLARVILLE Pearl River Lady Wildcats were bombed 11-1 in six innings by Mississippi Gulf Coast in the first game of an MACJC South Division softball doubleheader here Saturday, but bounced back to take a 4-2 win in the nightcap contest to hand the visiting Lady Bulldogs their first division loss of the year. PRCC, the reigning MACJC state champion, is now 15-9 overall and 7-3 in division play; while division-leading MGCCC is 20-8 and 8-1. In the first game, Lady Wildcat starter Laura LeJune of Iota (La.) High School faced only five batters in the top of the first, giving up a run off two singles and two walks before Heather Hester of Hancock County High arrived in relief with the bases loaded. Hester immediately gave up an RBI single to Courtney Fairley to make it 2-0, then walked Amanda Fuller to reload the corners before Shajuan Buckley flew out to center to squash the threat. In the bottom of the frame, Brandy Rester of Poplarville High and Samantha Spence of George County High led off with base hits, moved to second and third an out later off a double steal, but were left stranded when Gulf Coast starter Bayleigh Babin struck out Ashley Graeter of Poplarville High to end the inning. In the top of the second, lead off Taylor Bryan doubled to left center and scored when Katy White reached on an error to make it 3-0. Courtney Moore then reached on a fielder choice before Hester struck out two straight. After PRCC went three up, three down in the bottom of the inning, Kristen Albritton led off the second with a walk, setting the stage for Fairley two-run homer to pump the Lady Bulldogs lead to 5-0 before Hester retired three straight. In the bottom of the inning, Rester and Spence smacked one-out singles and Rester scored the Lady Wildcats only run of the contest off a single by Jordan Adams of DIberville High. Hester ended the inning with runners at first and third when she hit into a double play. After a scoreless fourth, MGCCC padded its lead when Fairley crushed a two-out double, Fuller walked, and Buckley followed with an RBI single before Bryan flew to center for the final out. Pearl River went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame, while Gulf Coast scored the final five runs of the contest in the top of the sixth. White led off with a single, Moore walked, and Kayla Herbert singled to load the bases. After Hester struck out Babin, Albritton base on balls pushed in a run before Moore scored on a passed ball. Fairley followed with a two-run triple and scored the game final run off Fuller ground out to third to make it as it ended at 11-1. PRCC managed a base runner in the bottom of the sixth off Adams lead off single, but Babin retired two straight to end the game via the eight-run rule. Babin (8-2) got the win in going the six-inning distance, giving up seven hits and striking out five; while LeJune (0-1) got the loss in her one-third inning on the mound. She gave up two hits and walked two, while Hester gave up seven hits, struck out two, and walked three. Fairley paced the Lady Bulldogs at the plate with a home run, a triple, a double, and a single (give RBIs), while White had two base hits, Bryan doubled, and Albritton (one RBI) and Buckley (one RBI) both singled. Adams (one RBI), Rester, and Spence had two singles a piece for Pearl River, while ETrareo Warren of Meridian High had a base hit. Each team committed one error in the game. In the nightcap, PRCC scored solo runs in the bottom of the first and third, before Brittney Gary of Slidell (La.) High smacked a solo homer in the fourth. The Lady Wildcats also scored a run in the sixth, while the Lady Bulldogs scored their two runs in the top of the sixth and seventh frames. Starter Sheila Hall (8-4) of Dutchtown (La.) High got the win in going the distance, giving up five hits and striking out five; while Gulf Coast starter Linsey Dickerson (6-4) got the loss. She also went the distance, giving up eight hits, striking out four, and walking two. Bryan, Buckley, Fairley, Fuller, and Mariha Partman all singled for MGCCC, while Gary paced PRCC with a homer and a single (one RBI). Adams had two singles (one RBI), Grater doubled (two RBIs), and Lacey Freeman of Forrest County AHS, Hester, and Rester all had base hits. Gulf Coast committed one error in the contest to Pearl River none. Pearl River returns to action Wednesday when it hosts South Division rival Jones County in a 4 p.m. doubleheader, then division foe Hinds visits Saturday for a 12 noon twin bill.
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