GULF SHORES, Ala. — The Pearl River softball team swung charged bats Friday in the first two games of the Sun Chiefs Classic in Gulf Shores, Ala.
The Lady Wildcats hit seven homers on the day as they rallied to beat Shelton State 12-8 before falling 7-3 to Snead State.
"The kids are going into the box with confidence," Pearl River coach Leigh White said. "We have a good approach and I feel like our kids are getting in there and making it happen."
By comparison, PRCC's two opponents only hit one homer on the day.
PEARL RIVER 12, SHELTON STATE 8
Although PRCC (5-3 overall) scored first, the Lady Wildcats fell into an early 6-1 hole after just 1 ½ innings.
The Lady Wildcats scored in the first on a single by Jenna Comeaux (Lafayette, La.; Comeaux) that scored Hannah Rasberry (Lucedale; George County). Elizabeth Taggard (Picayune) hit PRCC's first of five homers on the day to lead off the second inning.
Pearl River scored three in the third on an Alyssa Pinero (Picayune) double that scored Brooke Fagan (Kiln; Hancock), a Taggard double that scored Pinero and an RBI-single from BreAnna Corkern (Watson, La.; Live Oak). The offensive outburst pulled PRCC within one, 6-5.
After Shelton State tacked on a run in the top of the fourth Autumn Clark (Runnelstown; Perry Central) blasted another solo homer. Pinch hitter Krista Robles (Destrehan, La.) tied the game in the fifth with a double through the left side, scoring Jenna Smith (D'Iberville).
PRCC pulled ahead for good in the sixth as Comeaux, Corkern and Mary Grace Turner (Leakesville; Greene County) all homered; Corkern's homer also scored Taggard, who had been hit by a pitch.
"We were all confident. It doesn't matter if we were down 10-1, we know we can hit the ball and get back into any game," White said. "When we were down early I heard the girls in the dugout saying that we had a lot of game left and they were right.
"That was just our mentality. No one was hanging their heads; they just got out there and got the job done."
Taggard led PRCC with three runs scored. Comeaux, Taggard and Corkern all finished with two hits. Comeaux and Corkern led Pearl River with three RBIs. Fagan and Rasberry also stole bases in the game.
Rylee Swilley (Kiln; Hancock) pitched well in relief of Dallas Blaker (Bay St. Louis; Our Lady Academy), allowing two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings. She also struck out one to earn the win.
"Rylee came in and did a great job," White said. "She shut them down and they just couldn't adjust."
SNEAD STATE 7, PEARL RIVER 3
Pearl River held an early 2-1 lead against SSCC, but the Lady Wildcats were unable to maintain the lead throughout.
Rasberry opened the scoring for Pearl River in the second, sending a two-run shot over the center field wall. Pinero joined the homer brigade in the third with a solo home run to cap PRCC's scoring.
Snead State scored once in the first and plated three more runs in the second. They tacked on two runs in the fourth and another in the sixth.
"In the first game we made adjustments with the pitchers and were able to score some runs when we needed to," White said. "In the second game they brought in another pitcher and we never could adjust.
"We have to learn to make adjustments and we will."
Gracie Barnett (Vancleave) started the game, allowing four runs before being replaced by Grace Stringer (Moselle; South Jones) in the second inning. The reigning MACJC Pitcher of the Week pitched the final five innings, allowing three runs — one earned — on six hits and three walks. She also struck out three.
Pinero led PRCC with two hits in the game. Outside of the two homers, PRCC's only extra-base hit was a double from Turner.
The Lady Wildcats are back in action Tuesday with a doubleheader at Baton Rouge.
PRCC returns home Feb. 26 with a doubleheader against Coastal Alabama-South, beginning at 2 p.m.