This is a news release from Pearl River athletics
SENATOBIA --- Pearl River's Lady Wildcats copped one of four berths in this weekend's MACJC State Tournament after trimming scrappy Northwest Mississippi 1-0 in the deciding game of a best-of-three series here Monday.
Sophomore pitcher Rachel Hickman of Poplarville High won her second game of the series in as many days with a superb three-hit, 11-strikeout performance en route to the victory.
Hickman's pitching record improved to 11-10. The host Lady Rangers' mound effort was an impressive one by Kiley Dunagan (9-4), as the sophomore gave up a mere four hits and struck out five Lady Wildcats.
Pearl River scored the game-winning run in the top of the sixth when Mary Grace Key of Leake Academy led off with an up-the-middle single and moved to second off a sacrifice bunt by Katie Davis of D'Iberville High. Breanna Herndon of Poplarville then reached on a fielder's choice, winding up at second base, while Brandon Northrop, another Poplarville High product, reached on another fielder's choice with all runners safe to load the bases. That set the stage for an RBI sacrifice by Hannah Holloway of Petal High.
The Lady Rangers made it interesting in the bottom of the final frame when Kendall Alford led off with a double to left center and Jessica Holliday walked two outs later. Hickman then iced the cake when she struck out Rae Drewrey to end the game.
Hickman won Sunday's opening game 2-0, while Northwest knotted the series with a 3-1 victory in the nightcap game.
The double-elimination MACJC State Tournament is set for Friday through Sunday at South Division champ Jones County after the third-ranked Lady Bobcats ended North No. 4 Holmes' season with 6-0 and 10-0 victories in their series. Other teams in the event are East Central and Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Pearl River tackles ECCC at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by a JCJC-MGCCC game at 6 p.m.