GULFPORT, MS (MGCCC) - In a bind in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, Mississippi Gulf Coast plugged in pitcher Avery Sanders. Sanders bailed her team out big, helping lift the Lady Bulldogs to a sweep of Enterprise State.
Gulf Coast won that contest 3-2 on a Jada White home run, then clubbed the Boll Weevils 9-1 in five innings in the second game at West Harrison High School.
Sanders (Fr, E.D. White/Thibodaux, La.) entered the game down 2-1 with nobody out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the third. She struck out the first two batters she faced and got out of the inning without further damage. She wound up pitching five innings of no-hit ball, striking out five and walking two.
"I was just trying to do my best and play the way I know how to play," Sanders said. "The team had my back the whole time. I knew I could come in and pitch any time."
Katie Beth Williams (Fr, Smithville/Smithville) singled in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 2. White (Fr, Philadelphia/Philadelphia) mashed a ball over the left-field wall in the fifth for the winning run.
"When we talked to the team, I didn't want to embarrass (Avery) but I was so emotional for her because it was such a big thing she did," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "Avery was phenomenal. She came in and gave up no hits. It's hard to do that as a seasoned pitcher. As a freshman, that says a lot about her. I'm really proud of what she did."
Sanders had two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs in the second game. Mya Hopson (Fr, Madison Central/Madison) had two hits and two RBI, as did White.
Lauren Hall (Fr, Nettleton/Nettleton) ended the game with a three-run double, and also had another hit. Katelyn Baker (So, Seminary/Seminary) doubled for the Bulldogs.
Betty Mingo (2-0) went the distance, allowing three hits, as Gulf Coast improved to 5-1.