PRCC looks to start over in MACJC playoffs

By STAN CALDWELL,

POPLARVILLE – It’s the second season for softball teams in the MACJC, and the eight teams that have advanced to the conference playoffs are all starting off 0-0.

Pearl River Community College is one of those teams, and Wildcat coach Leigh White is confident that her team will respond to the opportunity to start over in the postseason.

“We’re going in fifth, but we’re in a five-way tie (at 17-11 in conference play),” said White, who is in her 16th season as the head coach at PRCC. “I haven’t seen that in all of the years I’ve been in coaching.

“So I think they’re all going to be good series, and the teams that are playing hot right now will be the ones who advance.”

The Wildcats (24-18 overall) will travel to Wesson to take on Copiah-Lincoln in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, with Game 2 set for 1 p.m. Saturday. If a third game is needed, it will be played immediately following Game 2.

The Wolves swept Pearl River in the regular-season doubleheader between the two teams, on April 10 at Wesson, but both games were close, 3-0 and 6-5 in eight innings.

“We didn’t have a good week over there the first time, so our kids are anxious to go over there and show what they can do,” said White. “Hopefully, it will be a different outcome.

The Wildcats come in as one of the hotter teams in the league, having won five of their last six games.

“This is what you play for, the chance to play in the postseason and maybe play for a championship,” said White. “We didn’t have our A game hitting (at Co-Lin), didn’t play great defense and our pitching struggled a little bit.

“But right now, we’re playing with a little more confidence. We’re hitting the ball better and our pitching has really picked up.”

Sophomore Olivia Holley (Biloxi) is the Wildcats No. 1 starter in the circle, with a 15-8 record, a 3.10 earned-run average and 48 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings.

Sophomore Ramee Taylor (Hurley) is PRCC’s leading hitter, with a .419 batting average. Redshirt freshman Destiny Wesley (LaPlace, La.) is batting .382 and sophomore Halle Melone (Oklahoma City) is the Wildcats top run producer with 43 RBIs.

Other first round series feature Hinds at East Central, Northeast at Itawamba and Mississippi Gulf Coast at Jones County. The four winning teams from the first round will play next week in the MACJC State Tournament at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Co-Lin will be livestreaming all of the games in the first round series against the Wildcats on its website,colinathletics.com/general/live_stream.

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