No. 15 Pearl River caps off successful NFCA Leadoff Classic
Published 4:46 pm Monday, March 6, 2023
COLUMBUS, Ga. — The No. 15 Pearl River softball team capped off a successful weekend at the NFCS Leadoff Classic with three games against top-20 opponents. The Wildcats defeated No. 6 Parkland 1-0 and No. 2 North Dakota SCS 8-2 and dropped the middle game to No. 19 Lansing 6-3.
“Overall this weekend was a great for us,” head coach Christie Meeks said. “We faced some very good quality teams and gained valuable experience.”
Morgan Lavergne (Baton Rouge, La; Central) was named to the NFCS Leadoff Classic all-tournament team for her performance on the weekend.
“Morgan had a fantastic weekend and it’s great to see the game pay her back,” Meeks said.
PEARL RIVER 1, PARKLAND 0.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel directly from the start with the Parkland (11-4 overall) pitcher and Pearl River’s (16-5) Brinson Anne Rogers (Statesboro, Ga) matching each other pitch for pitch.
The Wildcats were finally able to break through in the sixth after Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) reached on a single to begin the inning. Moments later, Cassidy Cartwright (Poplarville) laid down a bunt that the Cobra third baseman fielded and fired an errant through past the glove of the first baseman which allowed Overstreet to score all the way from first.
Rogers proceeded to retire the next six Parkland batters in order to preserve the 1-0 victory.
Rogers was lights out in game one, tossing a complete game shutout and striking out 15.
“Brinson was so impressive in game one by keeping the hitters guessing and controlling the speed of the game,” Meeks said.
Overstreet led the way offensively with two hits and a run scored.
Marissa West (Citronelle, Ala; Leroy) picked up a hit.
LANSING 6, PEARL RIVER 3.
Pearl River opened the scoring in the top of the first after Morgan Lavergne led off with a single and came around to score on a throw down to second base. Lansing (1-4) responded with a run of its own with a bases-loaded walk to tie the contest 1-1.
After a scoreless Wildcat half of the second, The Stars captured a 4-1 lead on a three-run home run with a deep shot to left field. The Wildcats got a run back in the top of the third after Bryn Daughtery (Vancleave) hit a ground ball to bring home Dallyn Nance (Nanih Waiya).
Lansing answered the scoring with two more runs in the bottom of the inning to restore the lead to 6-2.
Pearl River again responded with an RBI single off the bat of Nance that allowed Klair Cuevas (Poplarville; Hancock) to score and halved the deficit 6-3.
From there, neither team was able to generate offense until the top of the seventh. Pearl River managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but the rally fell short and Lansing won game two 6-3.
Nance led the Wildcats with three hits and an RBI. Lavergne collected two hits and scored a run. Cartwright, West, and Cuevas all collected one hit each.
PEARL RIVER 8, NORTH DAKOTA SCS 2.
Pearl River opened the scoring in the bottom of the second after Cartwright leadoff the inning with a single and came around to score on a throwing error by the catcher. Moments later, Natalie Toups (Brandon; Clinton Christian Academy) slapped a ball through the left side of the infield to drive in Daughtery. The scoring continued as Lavergne ripped a ball into the left centerfield gap for a double, scoring Gary and Toups to increase the lead to 4-0. The Wildcats were not done there as Nance drove Lavergne in with a double and then came around to score on an Overstreet single to cap off the scoring 6-0.
NDSCS (6-5) cut into the deficit in the third with a double to set things at 6-1.
Pearl River added a couple of insurance runs in the fourth as Lavergne took advantage of an errant through to score from second and got Nance to third. Nance then scored on a Cartwright sacrifice fly to set the score 8-1.
Bella Crawley (Ocean Springs) found herself in a bases-loaded jam with no outs but did not let it faze her and struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
NDSCS added a run in the sixth, but the Wildcats claimed a comfortable 8-2 victory.
Crawley tossed a complete game allowing two runs on nine hits. She also struck out eight.
“Bella really showed how tough she is tonight by getting out of major jams and fighting hard for her team,” Meeks said.
Overstreet led the Wildcats with three hits. She also collected an RBI. Nance finished with two hits and an RBI. She also scored two runs. Lavergne collected a hit and two RBIs.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday for their MACCC opener at Northeast. First pitch against the Tigers is set for 1 p.m. The game will be livestreamed at NEMCCTV.com