The Pirates softball team opened their fall season on Saturday as they traveled to Pearl River Community College and split a doubleheader. The first game started slow for both teams and remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth innings when Pearl River capitalized on an error to score the only run of the game. Kaeleen Koehler, Brittney Rayfield and Jensen Strickland each picked up one hit for the Pirates in the game. Strickland started the game on the mound and threw four scoreless innings while striking out three and only giving up one hit. Koehler closed out the game and struck out two while allowing only three hits.
In the second game the Pirates bats came alive and they pounded out 15 hits to take an easy 11-0 win. Danielle de Ruiter led off the first inning with a walk and advanced to second on a single from Sadie Rusteika. Koehler then drove in two runs with a double to right field and later scored on a single from Kayla Leibman and the Pirates had a 3-0 lead. In the second innings de Ruiter singled to center field and eventually scored on a single from Rusteika to extend the lead to 4-0. The scoring continued in the third inning when Koehler doubled to left field and immediately scored on a 2-run home run off the bat of Madison Marshall making it 6-0. Marshall picked up another RBI in the fourth inning with a double to center field. Some defensive miscues from Pearl River allowed the Pirates to plate two more runs in the fifth inning and make the lead 9-0. Leibman led off the sixth with a double and scored on a single off the bat of Rusteika who later scored herself to round out the offense of the day and make the score 11-0. The Pirate pitchers continued their strong performance on the day as Savannah Foster started the game and struck out eight batters in three innings of work. Brittney Rayfield took over duties on the mound for two innings and only gave up one hit while striking out three batters and Shelby Griffin closed out the game by keeping the Wildcats hitless in the sixth and seventh innings while collecting four strikeouts.
The Pirates will return to action on Friday, September 29 when they travel to Jacksonville State for a 3:30 pm game.