No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast got three home runs by right fielder Sarah Brannan, and the Bulldogs cruised to a doubleheader sweep at East Mississippi on Saturday.
Gulf Coast won the opener 8-2 behind two dingers by Brannan, and blanked the Lions 15-0 in five innings in the second behind an Abby Vance shutout.
Brannan hadn't hit a collegiate homer until days ago, and now has four in her last five games.
"She hit a big home run at our place against East Central, and she's really making great contact with the ball," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "It's kind of a confidence thing, and it's so good to see her hit three home runs today. Very exciting."
The sweep gives Long 599 career victories in charge of the Gulf Coast softball program. He'll have two chances to get 600 on Tuesday when the Bulldogs travel to No. 8 Jones. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
Gulf Coast (18-6, 14-0 MACCC) fell behind 1-0 in the opener before scoring three times in the third inning. Brannan's first home run made it 4-1 in the fourth inning, and her second was a solo homer in the seventh the resulted in the final margin.
K.K. Agner (Fr., Horn Lake/Magnolia Heights) had three hits, and Rakeya Travis (So., Poplarville/Poplarville) and Briana Shores (So., Richland/Richland) had doubles.
A'Mya Stevens (So., Laurel/Northeast Jones) picked up the win, and Anna Avant (So., Water Valley/Water Valley) pitched three shutout innings.
Brannan had one of three homers in the second game. She was joined by Travis and Alexis Laughlin (So., Hurley/East Central). Travis also had a triple and four RBI, and Laughlin had a double. Shores and Kristian Jones (Fr., Southaven/DeSoto Central) had three hits.
Vance struck out three in her three-hitter. She walked just one.
The Bulldogs have won eight straight.
"We played a little flat to start with," Long said, "but anytime you go on the road in this league and get two wins like, they're big."
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