Rebecca Cuevas’ third hit of the Gulf Coast East-West Seniors Softball Classic in Biloxi went only about 10 feet from home plate, but it turned out to be her biggest hit of the game as the swinging bunt single plated Long Beach’s Abbey Fisher for the game-winner in the West’s 5-4 win Monday.
The East mounted a comeback in the top of the ninth, with St. Martin’s Cassie Toncrey and D’Iberville’s Alexa Landenberger drawing one out walks. However, a slight rain, which started at the end of the eighth inning, turned into a deluge, ending the game early.
“I would have liked to see how the inning would have played out if it had not rained,” said Biloxi coach Bruce Thornton. “But, there is nothing you can do about (the rain).”
Thornton said the night was not about winning or losing, but about giving the Coast’s seniors one last time to put on their high school uniforms.
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“I’m really glad we were able to get the game in,” Thornton said, adding that he was hoping the rain would hold off until 10 p.m. The rain started around 11 p.m. “We were happy the seniors got the opportunity to play tonight.”
“It’s just getting to put on the uniform one more time,” said Hancock pitcher/first baseman Rylee Swilley, who was in the circle when rain ended the game. “It’s the last game of your career. It’s awesome.”
The East led only once in the game, in the sixth inning. With one out, George County’s Neely McLeod and East Central’s Maranda Busby singled. George County’s Ramey Cochran drove in McLeod one out later with a solid single to left.
The East’s lead would be short-lived with the West coming back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back East errors allowed the West to tie the game at 3-3. Cuevas, from West Harrison, followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs.
One out later, Harrison Central’s Amari Ramsey hit a comebacker to pitcher Diamond McDonald, from Gautier. McDonald got Ramsey out at first, but Picayune’s Elizabeth Taggard beat the throw from first to give the West a 4-3 lead.
The East tied the game in the top of the eighth. Long Beach’s Kaitlyn McGoey singled in Busby, who reached earlier in the inning on a fielder’s choice.
Fisher and OLA’s Dallas Blaker opened the West’s eighth with back-to-back singles before Cuevas’ one-out single scored Blaker and the winning run.
Pass Christian’s Brianna Smith helped set the table for Cuevas and company with two walks and a hit. Ramsey added a double for the West.
Cochran had two hits and two RBIs to pace the East. McLeod added a single and two walks for the East.
In the Futures game, the West used six walks to push across eight runs in the fifth en route to a 15-7 win. St. Patrick’s Raylen Balckwell’s RBI double and Poplarville’s Rakeya Travis added a two-run single in the inning. Blackwell would add a two-run homer in the seventh.