Pearl demolishes Vicksburg|Prep softball

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 16, 2010

A team struggling with its confidence met a team Thursday that has suddenly found it.

The Pearl Lady Pirates won their fourth straight game by pounding the Vicksburg Missy Gators 14-0 in five innings at Bazinsky Park. Pearl improves to 6-14 while Vicksburg slips to 2-14.

Vicksburg coach Amanda Yocum was disappointed in her young team that starts just two seniors.

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“We won two district games and that puts us in the playoffs, but I was very disappointed with how we played today. We didn’t play well at all. At least we’ve got four games in a row. We’ll get to see where we are,” Yocum said.

The Missy Gators return to action today at home against Riverside, a Class 2A school from the Delta. They host Cathedral on Monday.

Two bright spots for the Missy Gators came from eighth-grader Heather Middleton and seventh-grader Torrey Daniels.

Middleton made two running catches in center field to pace the Vicksburg defense. Daniels had the best at-bat against Pearl pitcher Kerri Phillips, who tossed a no-hitter. Daniels fouled off three pitches before reaching on a fielder’s choice in the third inning. She went to second base on Paige Bowser’s sacrifice. She was the only Missy Gator to reach second base.

Four errors in the first two innings doomed Vicksburg. Pearl capitalized with six runs and then continued to hit the ball throughout. They finished with 18 hits against Missy Gator pitcher Faith Thomas. All nine Pearl batters had at least one hit in the game.

“We’re on a four-game winning streak,” Pearl coach Leigh Ann Purvell said. “We had been struggling on both offense and defense. Today we put hits together and moved people around the bases. We also got a great game from our pitcher.”

Yocum said the Missy Gator errors and early deficits have been recurring themes this season as team tries to rebuild after a pair of back-to-back winning seasons, after which six experienced seniors departed.

“It’s happened all year. We put ourselves in a hole and we’re always having to play catch up,” Yocum said.

Ashley Wilson paced the Pearl hit parade with three singles, a double, three runs scored and three RBIs. Leadoff batter Macey Lee had a triple, double and drove in three. Katie Allen had three hits and knocked in two while Phillips drove in two off a single and a double.

Phillips struck out seven and had only one walk, a third-inning free pass to Middleton in the third inning.

Contact Jeff Byrd at