River sweeps Faulkner

POPLARVILLE The reigning MACJC state champion Pearl River Lady Wildcats remain perfect on the year after taking a pair of softball victories over the Faulkner State Lady Sun Chiefs here Friday. PRCC won the first game 6-1 before bouncing back with a 5-3 decision in the nightcap of the doubleheader to improve to 4-0 overall. Sophomore pitcher Sheila Hall of Dutchtown, La., pitched a four-hitter in the first game of the twin bill, striking out 12 and walking only two, including the first FSCC batter she faced. Hall immediately struck out Faulkner two spot before Jimishia Bennett cracked an RBI single to right field an out later. Hall got her second K on Ariel Wharton for the final out. In the bottom of the first, Pearl River tied it up. Lead off Brandy Rester of Poplarville High outran an infield ground to first, then Samantha Spence of George County High reached after being hit by a pitch before Jordan Adams of DIberville High reached on a fielder choice. Alyssa Graeter of Poplarville High followed with an RBI single to make it 1-1 before FSCC starter Elizabeth Buchanan retired two straight to end the inning. Hall struck out three straight in the top of the second, while the Lady Wildcats took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Janessa Dedeaux of Poplarville High led off with a walk, but Brittney Gary of Slidell High (La.) then hit into a double play. Lacey Freeman of Forrest County AHS was hit by a pitch before Rester outran a second infield grounder and Spence was hit with a pitch to load the bases. Adams then reached on an error, scoring Freeman and Rester to make it 3-1 before Graeter popped out to end the inning. After scoreless third and fourth innings, PRCC scored the game final runs in the bottom of the fifth. Lead off Adams blooped a single to right center before Graeter reached on an error and Tiffany Reed of Picayune High walked to load the bases. Heather Hester of Hancock County High sacrificed Adams home before Dedeaux singled in Graeter. After Gary struck out, Freeman singled in Hester to make it 6-1. Jessica Bush relieved Buchanan at that point and Rester popped out to end the inning. The Lady Sun Chiefs left runners stranded at first and third in the top of the sixth, while the Lady Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the frame, but couldnt cash in. FSCC went three up, three down in the top of the seventh to end the game. Hall (2-0) got the win in going the distance, while Buchanan was the loser in her four-and-two-thirds innings. She gave up eight hits, while striking out two, walking two, and hitting three batters. Bush gave up two hits and hit a batter. Bennett paced Faulkner four-hit effort with three singles (one RBI), while Jasmine Wells had a base hit. The River finished with 10 hits, led by Adams three singles (two RBIs), while Rester had two singles, and Dedeaux (one RBI), Freeman (one RBI), Graeter (one RBI), Hester (one RBI), and Spence all had base hits. PRCC committed one error in the game to FSCC two. In the nightcap game, things were scoreless for the first one-and-a-half innings, but Pearl River bombarded Faulkner with a five-run barrage in the bottom of the second. Graeter and Reed led off with singles, setting the stage for Hester RBI double to center. After Dedeaux grounded out, Taylor Seals of Picayune High walked to load the bases and ETrareo Warren of Meridian High followed with an RBI single. Rester then reached on a fielder choice that included a smattering of defensive miscues that resulted in three Lady Wildcat runs to make it 5-0. Rester wound up at third base, but FSCC starter Amber Lichtenstein retired to straight to end the inning. The Lady Sun Chiefs had two base runners and second and third with one out in the top of the third off a walk and an error, but couldnt cash in. In the top of the fourth, lead off Kati Reeves crushed a fly to the center field fence, but was nailed at third trying to stretch her belt into a triple before Lichtenstein smacked a solo homer out of left field to make it 5-1. PRCC starter Laura Lejune of Iota High (La.) exited the game at that point for Hester, who immediatlely hit a batter and walked a batter before Shannon Barnhill reached on an error, scoring a second run for the visitors. A wild pick off throw to second scored a third run to make it 5-3. Hester walked Lauren Tant before Bennett grounded to short for the final out. Faulkner left a runner stranded at third in the top of the fifth. Lejune (1-0) got the win in her three-and-one-thirds innings on the mound, giving up one hit and walking one; while Hester also gave up a hit, striking out three, walking two, and hitting a batter. Lichtenstein got the loss in the going the distance, giving up five hits, striking out four, walking one, and hitting a batter. Besides Lichtenstein home run, Cara Culpepper singled for the Lady Sun Chiefs; while Hester paced PRCC five-hit effort with a double (one RBI). Adams, Graeter, Reed, and Warren (one RBI) all singled. Rester had three RBIs. PRCC committed two errors in the contest, while FSCC was error-free. The Lady Wildcats return to action Saturday when they host Northwest Florida in a 2 p.m. doubleheader, then PRCC travels to LSU-Eunice in Eunice, La., for a 1 p.m. twin bill Tuesday before returning home to host MACJC non-division foe Mississippi Delta Thursday, Feb. 24 (3 p.m. doubleheader).

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