Wildcats eliminated from State Tournament in heartbreaker

Halle Melone
Pearl River sophomore Halle Melone is congratulated by Wildcat head coach Leigh White after hitting a two-run home run against Itawamba Friday in the MACJC State Tournament at Fulton. (Photo courtesy of Russell Turner)

POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College softball suffered heartbreak Sunday in the first elimination game at the MACJC State Tournament at Fulton.

An error on a routine grounder allowed the winning run to score from first base as East Central defeated Pearl River 3-2 in eight innings.

PRCC (26-20 overall) saw its season come to an end at the state tournament. East Central (34-12) was eliminated later in the day by host Itawamba, but the Warriors expect to earn a spot in this week's NJCAA Region 23 Tournament.

ECCC grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Wildcats answered in the next half inning, scoring twice in the top of the fifth.

With one out, redshirt freshman Destiny Wesley (LaPlace, La.) singled. After another out, sophomore Anna Grace Cooley singled, and both runners moved up to second and third on a passed ball. Sophomore Sarah Depperschmidt (Hurley) drove in both runs with a double.

From that point on, however, Warrior ace Kaitlyn Oswalt silenced the Wildcats, allowing just one hit in 3 1/3 innings.

Sophomore Olivia Holley (Biloxi) gave the Wildcats 7 2/3 innings in the circle, scattering nine hits, striking out three and walking three.

After the Wildcats were retired in order in the seventh and eighth innings, East Central got a hit batter on base with two out in the bottom of the eighth, setting up the game's final sequence.

Holley finished her season with a 15-10 record.



MACJC State Tournament

Sunday at Fulton

East Central 3, Pearl River 2 (8 innings)

PRCC   000      020      00        –          2          5          1

ECCC   000      200      01        –          3          9          1

PEARL RIVER (26-20): Anna Grace Cooley 2 1B; Sarah Depperschmidt 2B; Alyssa Pinero 1B; Destiny Wesley 1B. LP – Olivia Holley (15-10).

EAST CENTRAL (34-11): Sarah Walters 1B; Madalyn McMahon 2B, 2 1B; Eva Scott 2B 2 1B; Tagan Remmel 1B; Kenyetta Moore. WP – Kaitlyn Oswalt (17-8). Also pitching – Mackenzie Rousseau (starter).