PERKINSTON — Building on a big win over the top-ranked team in the country, No. 9 Mississippi Gulf Coast did something that hadn't been done against East Mississippi.
"Two shutouts is big," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "Our pitchers did a great job. They've been shut out one time all year. We shut them out twice today. I'm proud of this team."
Gulf Coast got an RBI single from catcher Kayla Cade (Fr., Harrison Central/Saucier) in the seventh to win the first game 1-0, and fellow catcher Hannah Hembree (So., Pascagoula/Pascagoula) went 3-for-3 with four RBI in an 8-0 win in six innings in the second.
The Lady Bulldogs (16-8, 8-2 MACJC) remain in a tie for fourth in the conference with Northeast, which swept Pearl River on Friday. Jones and Itawamba are tied at 9-1, with Copiah-Lincoln at 7-2.
Kayla Cade caught twin sister Kristen's gem in the first game. East Mississippi (2-13, 2-8) managed only three hits and struck out six times.
"I think she was just throwing the ball as hard as she could," Kayla Cade said. "I just wanted to score a run. We needed to get out of the game and not go another inning."
Camryn Williams (So., White Hall/White Hall, Ark.) walked against her old team to start the seventh, and Marsha' Hunt (Fr., Philadelphia/Philadelphia) laid down a perfect bunt to put runners at first and second. Kenzie Nichols (Fr., Germantown/Madison) sacrificed them up one base before Cade's single ended it.
Hembree had a front-row seat for the job Avery Sanders (So., Edward Douglas/Thibodaux, La.) did in Game 2. She struck out seven, walked one and allowed four hits.
"Avery has just hitting her spots really well," Hembree said. "They couldn't touch the screwball."
Hembree broke open the scoring in the second when she lashed a single to left to score Williams.
"I knew we had to score early," she said. "When I got up to bat my first time, we had a runner on third. The first pitch, she came fat to me, and I just drove it."
Two more runs scored in the second, and another came across in the fourth on a passed ball.
There were three ducks on the pond in the fifth when Hembree came to the plate in the fifth with two outs. She smashed a ball off the center-field wall to clear the bases and make it 7-0.
Hunt ended it with an infield hit in the sixth.
Gulf Coast returns to action Wednesday with a doubleheader at East Central. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 3 p.m. It's the third of four road trips during this five-game span.
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