CLINTON – The MACJC state champion Pearl River Lady Wildcats wrapped their season here Friday with a 4-2 semi-final loss to Mississippi Gulf Coast''s Lady Bulldogs in Region 23 Tournament action at Traceway Park.MGCCC''s Julie Mercer smashed a one-out, three-run homer over the left center field fence in the top of the seventh inning to give the fourth-seeded Lady Bulldogs a two-run lead the top-seeded Lady ''Cats couldn''t overcome in the bottom of the frame.Pearl River went up 2-0 in the bottom of the opening inning, while Gulf Coast scored a solo run in the top of the second and the Lady Wildcats'' one-run advantage remained intact until Mercer''s seventh-inning feat.The game marked PRCC''s second loss to MGCCC in the tournament, as the Lady Bulldogs pushed the Lady ''Cats into the losers'' bracket on Thursday with a 4-1 setback. The River rebounded with two straight wins on Friday – a 5-4 victory over sixth-seeded Itawamba and an 8-2 victory over fifth-seeded Copiah-Lincoln – before falling to Gulf Coast.MGCCC plays second-seeded East Central Saturday in the championship round. Both teams have already secured berth in the NJCAA National Tournament set for May 20-22 in Normal, Ill.”We were two outs away getting into the championship round and going to the national tournament,” said eighth-year PRCC head coach Leigh White. “We played hard all day long, but it just wasn''t meant to be. Give them (Gulf Coast) credit.”In Pearl River''s season finale, Jordan Adams of D''Iberville High cracked a one-out single to right field in the bottom of the first before Baleigh Volking of Enterprise High followed with a walk. Mykeal Maes of Hancock County High then reached on a fielder''s choice leaving runners at first and third. Adams scored and Maes moved to second on a passed ball to set the stage for an RBI single by Kaci Mitchell of Petal High to make it 2-0 before Bethany Russell flew out to left center to end the inning.In the top of the second, Sarah Smaltz led off with a line drive single to right center and scored two outs later off Mariah Partman''s base hit. Kayla Moran followed with a single, but Tiffany Fuller fouled out with runners stranded at first and second.From that point, PRCC didn''t have a single base runner for the next five frames; while Gulf Coast left a combined four runners stranded over the same time frame heading into the final inning.In the seventh, Fuller reached when she outran a one-out grounder to first before Courtney Fairley got on after being belted by a pitch. Mercer followed with her three-run shot, which saw the mound departure for reliever Sheila Hall out of Dutchtown High in Baton Rouge, La., for Corinne Fraychineaud out of Northshore High in Slidell, La. Fraychineaud retired two straight.In the bottom of the inning, Mitchell cracked a one-out single to right before Russell flew out to left and Blakely Faciane of Slidell (La.) High grounded out to short to end the game.Lady Bulldog starter Bayleigh Babin picked up the win in going the distance, giving up a mere three hits and walking one batter, while Hall (12-10) got the loss after relieving starter Katie Barrett of Bay High in the third. Hall walked three batters in her four-and-one-third innings of relief, while Fraychineaud faced two batters in the seventh.Smaltz led MGCCC''s seven-hit effort with two singles, while Mercer homered (three RBIs) and Taylor Bryan, Fuller, Moran, and Partman (one RBI) all had base hits.Mitchell had two singles (one RBI) for PRCC, while Adams also had a base hit.Gulf Coast committed one error in the contest, while Pearl River played error free.Pearl River 8, Copiah-Lincoln 2The Lady Wildcats took an 8-2 victory over Co-Lin to end the Lady Wolfpack''s season prior to its season-ending Gulf Coast loss.PRCC scored two runs in the bottom of the second, third, fifth, and sixth innings; while CLCC managed solo runs in the second and seventh frames.Co-Lin went up 1-0 in the top of the second when Monea Cameron led off with a double to center and scored off Debra Hamor''s bloop singled to right. Haley Sones followed with a double before River starter Fraychineaud impressively retired three straight with runners perched at second and third.The Lady Wildcats quickly tied it up off back-to-back doubles by Mitchell and Russell to lead off the bottom of the inning. Russell moved to third off Faciane''s sacrifice bunt and scored off a ground out to second by Laken Taormina of Sumrall High. Laurin Locke of Petal High popped out to third to end the inning.In the top of the third, CLCC left runners at first and third, while in the bottom of the inning PRCC padded its lead.Rester led off with a single before Volking reached and wound up at second off an error. With runners at second and third, Maes smashed a two-run double to left to make it 4-1 before Mitchell struck out and Russell flew out to center to end the inning.In the bottom of the fifth, Volking hit a one-out single to left, then Mitchell singled to center an out later, setting the stage for Russell''s two-run triple to the right field fence to make it 6-1 before Faciane struck out to end the inning.In the bottom of the sixth, pitch hitter Tiffany Reed of Picayune High led off with a walk, then Rester reached and wound up at second off a throwing error to first, setting the stage for Adams'' two-run double to make it 8-1. Volking followed with a walk, but Maes and Mitchell both popped out to second base to end the inning.Holli Smith led off the top of the seventh with a solo homer for Co-Lin''s second run.Fraychineaud (13-6) got the win in going the distance, striking out five and walking one; while Lady Wolfpack starter Bethany Pinkston got the loss in her four-and-two-thirds innings on the mound. She struck out four before Hamor relieved in the fifth, walking two.Hamor led CLCC''s seven-hit effort with a double and a single (one RBI), while Smith homered (one RBI), Cameron and Sones both doubled, and Katie Stewart and Daniele Wilson both singled.PRCC finished with nine hits, led by Russell''s triple and double (three RBIs). Mitchell doubled and singled, Rester had two singles, Adams (two RBIs) and Maes (two RBIs) both had doubles, and Volking singled.Co-Lin committed three errors in the game to Pearl River''s none.Pearl River 5, Itawamba 4The Lady Wildcats took a 5-4 victory over Itawamba prior to its Co-Lin match up off a Volking walk off home run in the bottom of the seventh.Pearl River led 4-0 after six, but allowed ICC to tie it up in the top of the seventh.Itawamba loaded the bases in the top of the second with one out off a Ashley Case double, a Heather Whitworth single, and a Anna Taylor walk, but PRCC starter Hall struck out Kimmy Nicholson before Rachel Tally hit into a force out to KO the threat.The Lady Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Locke led off with a walk and Rester followed with a line single to right before Adams hit into a double play. Rester scored when Volking reached on a error before Maes grounded to short for the final out.PRCC padded its lead in the bottom of the sixth. Mitchell led off with a double, while Russell followed with a single. Mitchell scored from third on an error to make it 2-0 before ICC starter Chelsea Lukens retired two straight. Locke reached on a throwing error to first, winding up at second and scoring Russell. She moved to third off a passed ball and scored when Rester singled down the third base line to make it 4-0 before Adams grounded to third for the final out.ICC rallied for four in the top of the seventh to knot things at 4-4, scoring all of its runs with two outs.After Case led off with a walk, Whitworth hit into a double play. But Taylor followed with a walk and Nicholson and Tally both singled to load the bases. CeCee Austin then reached on an error, scoring Taylor, before Lady Wildcat starter Hall walked Lara Andrews to push in a second ICC run with the bases still loaded. Cyndal Cleveland''s ensuing two-run double tied it up. Fraychineaud relieved Hall at that point and retired Jayla Hubbard for the third out.Volking''s lead off homer in the bottom of the inning iced the victory.Fraychineaud got the win despite facing only one batter, while Lukens got the loss. She went the distance, striking out three and walking three. Hall struck out two and walked five in her six-and-two-thirds innings on the mound.ICC had nine hits to Pearl River''s eight, with Cleveland leading the way with a double and a single (two RBIs), while Nicholson had two singles, Case doubled, and Andrews (one RBI), Austin (one RBI), Tally, and Whitworth all had base hits.Volking homered and singled (two RBIs) to lead The River, while Rester had two base hits (one RBI), Adams and Mitchell both doubled, and Faciane and Russell both singled. Locke also had an RBI.Itawamba committed three errors in the game to Pearl River''s one.Mississippi Gulf Coast 4, Pearl River 1The Lady Wildcats dropped its opening tournament game on Thursday, suffering a 4-1 setback to Gulf Coast, which defeated Copiah-Lincoln 2-0 prior to its game against PRCC.The Lady Bulldogs went up 2-0 in the top of the second when Smaltz led off with a single and Kayla Thompkins reached on a fielder''s choice an out later before Partman cracked an up-the-middle single. Moran''s ensuing base hit to right loaded the bases, setting the stage for Fuller''s two-run single to center before Fairley flew to center for the final out.In the top of the third, the Lady Bulldogs had runners at first and third with one out before Lauren Bates hit into a double play; while the Lady Wildcats left runners at first and second when Volking grounded into a force out to end the inning.After a scoreless fourth, MGCCC''s Fairley led off with a double to right center, which saw the mound departure of starter Fraychineaud for Barrett, who immediately gave up a single to Mercer putting runners at first and third before retiring Megan Colvin. Fairley scored off Smaltz sacrifice bunt to make ti 3-0 before Bates grounded to short for the final out.Pearl River scored its only run in the bottom of the frame when Faciane led off with a single to left, stole second, and moved to third off Taormina''s sac bunt. Faciane scored when Locke reached on a wild throw to first and wound up at third before getting drilled at home when Rester reached on a fielder''s choice. Adams and Volking then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases before Maes struck out to end the inning.Partman smashed a one-out solo homer in the top of the sixth for Gulf Coast''s final run, while the Lady Wildcats loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning when Russell reached on an error with one out, Faciane singled to left center, and Taormina walked. But Locked popped out to first and Rester hit into a force out at home to end the inning.After the Lady Bulldogs left runners at first and second in the top of the seventh, PRCC loaded the bases again in the bottom of the frame. Adams reached first when she struck out but MGCCC catcher Smaltz couldn''t get a handle on the ball. After Volking flew out to left center, Maes singled to left and Russell singled down the third base line an out later to load the corners, but Faciane lined out to third to end the game.Gulf Coast starter Fuller got the win in going the distance, striking out two and walking three; while Fraychineaud got the loss in her four innings on the mound. She walked one batter before Barrett relieved in the fifth, striking out one.Mercer paced Gulf Coast''s 12-hit attack with three singles, while Partman homered and singled (one RBI), Moran and Smaltz (one RBI) had two base hits each, Fairley doubled, and Colvin and Fuller (two RBIs) both had singles.PRCC finished with eight hits, led by Faciane and Rester with two singles each, while Locke (one RBI), Maes, Russell, and Taormina all had base hits.MGCCC committed three errors in the game to Pearl River none.
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