PERKINSTON, MS (MGCCC) - No. 13 Mississippi Gulf Coast used the same recipe so sweep a doubleheader against archrival Pearl River on Wednesday. The Lady Bulldogs scored tie-breaking runs in the bottom of the sixth, then let their ace pitchers finish things in the top of the seventh.
Kayla Cade (Fr., Harrison Central/Saucier) delivered the go-ahead run in a 4-2 win in the opener to earn her twin sister Kristen the victory. Briana Shores (Fr., Richland/Richland) smacked a two-out RBI single through the circle for a 2-1 win that let Avery Sanders (So., Edward Douglas/Thibodaux, La.) strike out the side to ice.
“Our team doesn’t ever give up,” Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. “We just kept battling and looking for a way to score. We did it, and it was a big deal against a good team.”
Gulf Coast improves to 19-9 overall and 11-3 in MACJC play. The Lady Bulldogs, who play again at home Friday against No. 11 Northeast, remain in fourth place in the conference, two games behind co-leaders Jones and Itawamba. Northeast is in third place at 10-2.
Pearl River (14-14, 4-8) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a two-run homer, and the Lady Bulldogs didn’t get their offense going until the fifth. Shores hit a two-run, two-out single to tie it.
Kristen Cade got three weak pop-ups in the sixth and let her offense give her the first lead. Mya Hopson (So., Madison Central/Madison) doubled and Katie Beth Williams (So., Smithville/Smithville) singled to set up Kayla Cade.
“I was just trying to get her in,” she said. “I needed to score a run. Kristen pitched her heart out. You could see it in her eyes. She wanted to win.”
Cade’s sacrifice fly made it 3-2, and Kaitlynn McGoey (So., Long Beach/Long Beach) followed with an RBI single for the final margin.
Cade scattered seven hits and struck out three.
Sanders struck out six in her four-hitter, allowing only a fourth-inning solo homer that tied the game at 1.
Marsha’ Hunt (Fr., Philadelphia/Philadelphia) put the Lady Bulldogs out front with a two-out double in the third, and Gulf Coast didn’t score again until two outs in the sixth.
Shores lashed a single back up the middle to score pinch-runner Talena Satcher (Fr., Enterprise/Enterprise) from second.
“We had to score the run. That’s what was going through my head,” Shores said. “Two outs, runners at second and third, something’s got to happen. I hit an inside pitch and went middle with it.”
Sanders didn’t need any more help. She whiffed all three batters in the seventh for the sweep.