From Pearl River Community College Sports Information
DOTHAN, Ala. (WDAM) — Pearl River Community College’s softball team earned a softball split for the second consecutive and final day of the Chipola Tournament.
The Lady Wildcats forced extra innings in the day’s opener before falling to Gulf Coast State College 11-9 in nine innings.
In Sunday’s second game, Pearl River (2-2) used a six-run fifth inning to rally past Georgia Military College 13-9.
“First of all, we played really good teams,” first-year PRCC coach Christie Meeks said. “Gulf Coast State and Georgia Military College are really great teams. I think that first game the girls learned how to fight together as a team. We always want to grow and learn as we’re going through our non-conference schedule and (Sunday) we learned how to fight together.
“In the second game, we came out flat but again we learned how to pick it up. We learned a lot about our emotions and how we can play together as a whole.”
After falling behind 6-1 after the top of the fourth, the Wildcats made things interesting.
After getting one run back on a Faith McKenzie sacrifice fly in the fourth, Pearl River added three more runs in the fifth to pull within 6-5.
Sydney Runnels and Emily McDonald drilled run-scoring singles and Saige Hebert chipped in a RBI-grounder.
After Gracie Barnett got out of a bases-loaded jam with an inning-ending strikeout, the Lady Wildcats tied the game 6-6 on Runnels’ single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
PRCC loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but came up empty, sending the game to extra innings.
GSC jumped out to an 8-6 lead in the top of the eighth, but PRCC answered to tie the game 8-8 on a run-scoring triple by Smith and RBI-single by Brooke Fagan.
GSC once again broke the tie, this time pushing across three runs in the top of the ninth inning. PRCC scored on McKenzie’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning but came up short.
Smith’s triple was PRCC’s lone extra-base hit in the game. Hebert, Runnels and Raegan Havard each hit a pair of singles. McKenzie drove in three runs for PRCC.
Barnett went the distance for PRCC, striking out six.
Trailing 3-0, PRCC got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second on Kambryn Chaisson’s double.
Georgia Military got the run back in the third, but PRCC cut the score to 4-3 in its half of the third inning on a two-run single by Fagan.
Georgia Military College bumped the lead to 7-3 in the fourth, with PRCC slicing a run off its deficit in the fourth inning on Runnels’ sacrifice fly.
The Lady Wildcats took a 9-7 with a six-run sixth inning. Fagan tripled in two runs, Shanks doubled home two more, McDonald singled in the go-ahead run and another scored on a Chaisson line out.
PRCC tacked on three more insurance runs in the sixth on an RBI-single from Smith and a two-run error.
“Hitting is contagious,” Meeks said. “Once one hitter gets going, everyone else can, too.
“Another big positive was our dugout got some energy. They kept the energy and we kept fighting for the insurance runs.”
Shanks had a breakout performance, collecting four hits in four at-bats
“That kid did something really special,” Meeks said. “She would get two strikes on her and she would just get calmer. That’s not normal. That’s what got her on base all those times. She had an 11-pitch at-bat one time. She battled and battled until she was able to get on.”
Chaisson, Havard, Fagan and McDonald each recorded two hits. Fagan led PRCC with four RBIs.
Danielle Lalonde earned her first career win, striking out three in six innings. Barnett retired the final three GMC batters in order to earn her first save of the year.
Weather permitting, the Lady Wildcats will hit the road for another doubleheader Tuesday, visiting Coastal Alabama-South.