PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast's bats came alive Tuesday to the tune of five home runs, with the Lady Bulldogs sweeping Marion Military 6-4 and 7-5 at a rainy Ross-Smith Field.
"It felt good to be able to beat them two games, especially with this weather," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "We had some kids really step up. Bryley (Rodriguez) was really tough in some bad conditions. She could have given in a little, but she didn't, and I'm proud of her."
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 5-3 overall and broke a string of three straight splits to start the season. They hadn't played a game in ten days after a rainout last week.
Shelby Archer (Fr., Pearl River Central/Picayune) hit two home runs in the second game and drove in four runs.
"We've been hitting, trying our hardest to find our weaknesses and attacking them," she said. "We really needed it. We've been going back and forth, getting in a funk, but I think we're finally getting out of the rut."
Her three-run homer in the second inning capped a five-run explosion, and after Mya Hopson (So., Madison Central/Madison) hit a solo homer in the third to make it 6-1, her leadoff blast in the sixth made it 7-5, providing a key insurance run.
Rodriguez (Fr., Beau Chene/Cankton, La.) spun a complete game for the win, scattering nine hits. Hopson and Kenzie Nichols (Fr., Germantown/Madison) had two hits each.
In the first game, Betty Mingo (So., Choctaw Central/Philadelphia) hit a two-run homer in the second, and Hannah Hembree (So., Pascagoula/Pascagoula) followed with a solo shot to make it 3-0. The Bulldogs added two more in the fourth on a two-out single by Marsha' Hunt (Fr., Philadelphia/Philadelphia).
Kristen Cade (Fr., Harrison Central/Saucier) got her first six outs by strikeout, but when she faltered in the fifth Avery Sanders (So., Edward Douglas/Thibodaux, La.) entered and held Gulf Coast's lead at 5-4. She went the rest of the way to earn her first save, striking out three and allowing just one hit. Cade is now 3-1.
Briana Shores (Fr., Richland/Richland), who played a spectacular third base in both games, had a two-out RBI single in the fifth. She had two hits, as did Hunt, Mingo and Kaitlynn McGoey (So., Long Beach/Long Beach). Hopson had a double.
"We hit five home runs," Long said. "It was a great job by our pitchers to focus back in. They've got two of the best pitchers around. They did a really good job. For us to get these two wins was big."
Gulf Coast's next scheduled doubleheader is Friday at 2 p.m. when LSU Eunice is supposed to visit Perkinston. Follow the Bulldogs' social media feeds and check the website for updates on the schedule based on expected bad weather. The schedule at http://mgcccbulldogs.com/schedule is always kept up to date.
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.