FULTON, Miss. — Pearl River's softball team showed fight in its MACJC opener Thursday. After traveling across the state to play an Itawamba squad that's receiving votes in the latest NJCAA Division-II Top 25, the Lady Wildcats held early advantages in both games only to fall 7-4 and 8-7.
"We have to clean up the little things," said PRCC coach Leigh White, whose team committed three errors in the doubleheader. "We should have won two today. Little mistakes like those against a good program will come back to haunt you."
GAME 1: Itawamba 7, Pearl River 4
The Lady Wildcats (9-7 overall, 0-2 MACJC) struck first in the opener thanks to a Jada Walker (Gulfport) two-run double in the second inning. Autumn Clark (Runnelstown; Perry Central) later scored on a passed ball to give PRCC an early 3-0 lead.
Things went sideways on the Lady Wildcats in the later innings as ICC tied the game in the fourth and added two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.
PRCC tacked on a fourth run in the sixth inning on a Dallas Blaker (Bay St. Louis; Our Lady Academy) pinch-hit single.
Walker, making her first start of the year, tallied two doubles. Jenna Comeaux (Lafayette; Comeaux) added a single and a double. Elizabeth Taggard (Picayune), who recently committed to Belhaven, singled twice.
Gracie Barnett (Vancleave) started the game, allowing three unearned runs on three hits and five walks before giving way to Krista Robles (Destrahan, La.) and Rylee Swilley (Kiln; Hancock). Both gave up two runs in the fifth and sixth innings respectively.
GAME 2: Itawamba 8, Pearl River 7
For the second game in a row PRCC struck first as Brooke Fagan (Kiln; Hancock) crossed home on a fielder's choice.
After ICC (11-5, 2-0) struck back with a solo homer in the bottom of the second, PRCC responded by scoring two runs in the top of the third on a double from Taggard.
Pearl River extended its lead to 4-1 in the fourth when Hannah Rasberry (Lucedale; George County) scored on a grounder.
The Indians pulled back within two in the bottom of the frame with another solo home run.
ICC then pulled ahead in the fifth courtesy of a three-run homer.
It looked like Blaker would hit PRCC to victory, delivering a three-run homer in the seventh to propel PRCC back ahead 7-5.
"Dallas can hit," White said. "She had a great game today. She's always a threat at the plate. She got in there with confidence and hit the ball."
The Indians ultimately strung a group of hits together in the bottom of the frame to walk off 8-7.
Taggard and Blaker led PRCC with two hits apiece. Robles also tallied a pinch-hit double.
Pearl River returns to the diamond on March 16 for a home doubleheader against Coastal Alabama-North. First pitch is at 2 p.m.