POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River's softball team answered some questions Tuesday in its sweep of Coastal Alabama-South at Lady Wildcat Stadium. The Lady Wildcats had to find two different ways to victory, winning a 9-7 slug fest before clamping down and hanging on in a 3-2 pitcher's duel.
"I told them we had to get out here and compete and I felt like we did," Pearl River coach Leigh White said. "In the second game we saw a lot and overcame a lot. We got out of a lot of jams and that's something we needed to answer. They proved tonight they can get out of jams, we just have to be consistent."
GAME 1: PRCC 9, CAS 7
The Sun Chiefs struck first in the opener, capitalizing on a PRCC miscue to plate two runs. The Lady Wildcats jumped ahead in the bottom of the second thanks to a bases-loaded triple by Autumn Clark (Runnelstown; Perry Central). The Sun Chiefs threatened again in the next inning by loading up the bases but PRCC starter Grace Stringer induced a weak grounder to first to end the threat.
Coastal Alabama-South tied it up in the fourth on a double but PRCC struck back in the bottom of the inning. After Brooke Fagan (Kiln; Hancock) and Alyssa Pinero (Picayune) worked bases-loaded walks, Jenna Comeaux (Lafayette, La.; Comeaux) sliced a three-run double into right to cap the five-run frame to put Pearl River ahead 8-3.
The Sun Chiefs scored runs in the fifth and sixth, but PRCC tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on an Elizabeth Taggard (Picayune) single through the left side and reliever Gracie Barnett shut the door in the seventh to preserve the Lady Wildcat winner.
"Gracie did a really good job of coming in and shutting them down," White said. "That was her job."
Comeaux and Hannah Rasberry (Lucedale; George County) lead PRCC with two hits apiece. Comeaux and Clark each had three RBIs for the Lady Wildcats.
GAME 2: PRCC 3, CAS 2
Runs were at a premium in Game 2.
Pearl River broke through in the third when Mary Grace Turner (Leakesville; Greene County) scored on a wild pitch.
Back-to-back doubles by Breanna Corkern (Watson, La.; Live Oak) and Rasberry plated two more runs in the fourth.
Both pitchers clamped down until the seventh.
PRCC starter Krista Robles (Destrehan, La.) pitched a strong game, getting out of trouble a couple times before the Sun Chiefs got to her in the seventh. Coastal Alabama-South scored on a chopper up the middle and a single through the right side before White opted to turn to Rylee Swilley (Kiln; Hancock). The sophomore busted the Sun Chiefs batter inside and Turner nearly collided with Corkern, catching the foul pop before tumbling to the muddy infield.
"We were coming around to their best hitters. I knew Rylee could get in and jam them and that was our goal," White said. "We were fixing to jam them and that's what we did."
Robles earned the win, scattering seven hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings.
"Our defense was behind Krista. She hit her spots and got ground balls. She really handled a good hitting team," White said. "She was hitting her spots consistently, which was big."
Comeaux, Corkern and Rasberry recorded PRCC's lone hits — all doubles.
The Lady Wildcats don't return to action until March 8 when they open the MACJC season at Itawamba. PRCC returns to Lady Wildcat Stadium on March 18 to play Coastal Alabama-North.