DECATUR, Miss. — The Pearl River softball team found its power stroke in the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader at No. 12 East Central but was unable to pull the upset, falling 14-5 in five innings in Game 1 and then 10-5 in Game 2.
"Tonight just came down to the fact they had some better hits than we did. We hit the ball, we just came up short," Pearl River coach Leigh White said. "What happened today was we just didn't make some plays on defense that we have been making. We just have to clean that up.
"We know what we have to do moving forward."
Game 1: ECCC 14, PRCC 5 (5 inn.)
After ECCC (27-11, 20-6) scored five runs in the first two innings PRCC got back on the scoreboard with an RBI double from Taggard that plated Brooke Fagan (Kiln; Hancock).
PRCC pulled within two, 5-3, in the fourth on an RBI single from Rasberry that scored Alyssa Pinero (Picayune). Taggard doubled in two more runs later in the inning to tie the game 5-5.
The Warriors responded with five runs in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead 10-5.
East Central ended the game in the fifth with a four-run frame.
Taggard had a strong showing at the plate for Pearl River, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two doubles. Rasberry was the other PRCC hitter with multiple hits, singling twice to go 2-for-3.
Game 2: ECCC 10, PRCC 5
Mary Grace Turner (Leakesville; Greene County) started Game 2 off with a jolt, blasting her 13thhome run of the season to give Pearl River an early 2-0 lead.
ECCC tied the game up in the second with its own two-run homer.
Keeping with the early trend in Game 2, Fagan put the Lady Wildcats back ahead in the third with a two-run homer.
The Warriors responded once again in the bottom of the third, plating two runs on a homer and an error. ECCC pushed ahead 7-4 in the fourth courtesy of a sacrifice fly and two-run homer.
Taggard got in on the home runs in the fifth, belting a solo shot to pull PRCC within two, 7-5.
"Their presence in the box is always evident. They get in there to hit the ball and they're hard outs," White said of Turner, Fagan and Taggard.
ECCC broke the game open in the sixth with three runs and PRCC never mustered a final rally.
Taggard was PRCC's only batter with multiple hits in Game 2, leading the offense with a 3-for-4 effort. Both Turner and Fagan drove in two runs. Gracie Barnett (Vancleave) started the game for Pearl River. Krista Robles (Destrehan, La.) and Rylee Swilley (Kiln; Hancock) also pitched for the Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Wildcats swept the league's weekly honorsas Stringer was named the MACJC Pitcher of the Week with Turner earning the MACJC Player of the Week honor.
Stringer was 3-0 on the week with a 0.74 ERA while Turner hit .545 with four homers and 11 RBIs in PRCC's 6-0 week against East Mississippi, Copiah-Lincoln and Northwest.
PRCC has two more home series before the end of the regular season. The Lady Wildcats will host Delta at 2 p.m. Friday for Sophomore Day before welcoming Coahoma at 2 p.m. Sunday.