River swept by Jones

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POPLARVILLE The nationally-ranked Pearl River Lady Wildcats handed the rival Jones County Lady Bobcats sole possession of second place in the MACJC South Division softball race after dropping a doubleheader 1-0 and 6-1 here Thursday. PRCC, the reigning MACJC state champion and ranked 19th in the latest NJCAA Division II poll, fell to 15-11 overall and 7-5 in division play after the sweep, while JCJC improved to 25-5 and 9-3. Mississippi Gulf Coast, which split with The River last Saturday in Poplarville for its only division loss of the year, is in first place at 10-1 with East Central in third at 7-4. MGCCC dropped ECCC 5-2 March 8 in Perkinston before rain postponed the nightcap of the twin bill to a later date. In Thursday first game, the two teams battled through five scoreless innings until the Lady Bobcats scored the winning run in the top of the sixth off a Lady Wildcat error. In the top of the second inning, JCJC Jessmar Walters reached second base on an outfield error, but was left stranded at third. Jones also threatened an inning later when Mallory Cowart crushed a one-out triple to center field, but was nailed at home plate when Haley Brooke Smith reached on a fielder choice. Both teams left runners at second base in the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Shannon Mosley cracked a one-out single, then Walters singled to left a strikeout later. Heidi Garcich followed with a base on balls to load the bases before an errant pick off throw to third saw Mosley speed home for the game-winning run. PRCC starter Heather Hester of Hancock County High then walked K.T. Perkins to reload the bases before striking out Kayla McDaniel for the final out. The Lady Bobcats also left runners at second and third in the seventh. Starter Ginger Lonergan (12-1) got the win in going the distance, giving up three hits and striking out four; while Hester (6-6) got the loss. She also went the distance, giving up four hits, striking out five, and walking six. Mosley led JCJC with two singles, while Cowart tripled and Walters singled. Hester had two base hits for the Lady Wildcats, while Brittney Gary of Slidell (La.) High singled. Jones played error free, while Pearl River had one defensive miscue. In the nightcap game, JCJC went up 4-0 in the top of the second when Mosley led off with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball, then on to third on Stacia Whitaker ground out. She scored off Walters single to left field. An out later, Walters scored off an outfield error that put Perkins on first. Kayla McDaniel was then belted by a pitch before she and Perkins moved to second and third off a passed ball, setting the stage for Cowart two-run single to center. Smith lined to second for the final out. Hester managed a lead off single in the bottom of the frame, but Alyssa Graeter of Poplarville High followed with a strike out before Gary hit into a double play to end the inning. Jones County scored its fifth run in the top of the third. Lead off Alex Faciane singled to left, but a throwing error from the outfield saw her end up at third base. Mosely followed with a walk and Faciane scored on a double steal to make it 5-0. Walters then grounded out and Garcich popped to second for the final out. Paris Redd of Greene County High led off the bottom of the frame with a single before Janessa Dedeaux of Poplarville High reached on a fielder choice and Samantha Spence followed with a base hit. Then Brandy Rester of Poplarville High reached on an error with Dedeaux heading home, but she was nailed at the plate. ETrareo Warren of Meridian High then struck out to end the inning. After a scoreless fourth, Pearl River scored its only run in the bottom of the fifth. Gary and Redd led off with singles with Dedeaux followed with an RBI double to left field. Gary courtesy runner Lacey Freeman of Forrest County AHS was thrown out at third, then Spence popped out. After Dedeaux moved to third on a passed ball, Rester singled, but the duo were left stranded when Warren grounded out to second to end the inning. JCJC left runners at second and third in the top of the sixth, before scoring the game final run in the top of the seventh. Stacia Whitaker drew a one-out walk, stole second an out later, and scored on Garcich single to right center field. Perkins flew to center for the final out. PRCC loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning. Gary led off with a single, then Redd reached on an error. An out later, Spence outran an infield grounder to load the corners, which prompted the mound exit of Lady Bobcat starter Lauren Candies for Lonergan. Rester reached on a fielder choice when Gary courtesy runner Freeman was forced out at home, then Warren ensuing strike out ended the game. Candies (13-4) got the win in her six-and-one-thirds innings on the mound, giving up 10 hits and striking out three; while Lonergan faced two batters. Sheila Hall (8-5) of Dutchtown (La.) High got the loss in going the distance, giving up eight hits, striking out one, walking four, and hitting one batter. Cowart paced JCJC eight-hit effort with three singles (one RBI), while Faciane doubled and singled and Garcich (one RBI), Smith, and Walters (one RBI) all had base hits. Perkins also had an RBI. Gary, Redd, Rester, and Spence led PRCC 10-hit attack with two singles a piece; while Dedeaux doubled (one RBI), and Hester singled. Each team committed two errors in the game. Both teams wrap up their regular seasons in Ellisville with a rematch Friday, April 22. Pearl River returns to action Saturday when it hosts South Division rival Hinds in a 12 noon doubleheader.

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