PERKINSTON — Down two runs heading to the bottom of the seventh, No. 4 Mississippi Gulf Coast talked about how they wanted to play the game out.
"We talked about it before the seventh inning," Gulf Coast interim coach Kenneth Long said. "Let's go down swinging, give it all we got. (Alexis Laughlin) got the hit to get it going. I just like this team. They want to win and they want to do good."
The Bulldogs finished a sweep of Northeast Mississippi by not swinging the bats, though. Three bases-loaded walks lifted them to a 6-5 win, which followed up a 10-2 win in five innings in the opener.
The sweep was the first of the season for Gulf Coast (6-4) and was the perfect way to kick off MACCC play. Northeast falls to 7-5.
Hannah Herrington (So., Enterprise/Enterprise) pitched a three-hitter in the opener, and neither run was earned. It was her first appearance of the year in the circle.
"When we start off getting the win in that first game, it sets the tone for the second really well," she said. "We get pumped and get good confidence."
Briana Shores (So., Richland/Richland) went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer to end it in the fifth. She finished with four RBI. Camryn Miller (Fr., Waynesboro/Wayne County) went 3-for-3, and Caroline Moore (So., Maryville, Tenn./Maryville) had two hits.
Gulf Coast trailed 5-3 after five innings and needed the late rally.
Laughlin hit a double over the center fielder's head, and the pitcher couldn't come up with Moore's hard groundball to put runners at the corner.
Kristian Jones (Fr., Southaven/DeSoto Central) took a pitch off the helmet to load the bases before Rakeya Travis (So., Poplarville/Poplarville) walked to make it 5-4. Travis was walked four times on the day.
After a pop-up, Shores tied it with a four-pitch walk, and the Bulldogs got the walk-off walk from Miller, also on four pitches.
"That's our first conference sweep, so it's awesome," Shores said. "With what we've been through, coming back like that is amazing."
Anna Avant (So., Water Valley/Water Valley) came in from second base to pitch the final 2.2 innings to earn the win. She allowed only one hit.
Gulf Coast travels to Hinds on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
"For confidence, it means a whole lot, especially coming back like that in the seventh inning," Long said. "That's just what this team needed. They battled hard, we just had to come back at the end. I think this will help us down the road."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.
By: Don Hammack
Sports Information Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College