PERKINSTON — 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.
"She really came on strong," Long said. "When you strike out the side in the seventh against a good-hitting team, that means you're doing a good job. I'm proud of Avery, and both pitchers did a great job tonight."
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