PERKINSTON-- Mississippi Gulf Coast got a key MACJC South Division victory Thursday in Perkinston, completing a sweep of East Central with a 94-79 victory. The Bulldogs (16-3, 7-3 South) moved ahead of the Warriors (11-8, 6-4), and they remain in a second-place tie with Pearl River, a game back of Jones. Davion Cole-Johnson had 20 points. Anfernee Hampton had 18 points, with Deshawn Jones adding 16, Zach Parker 14 and Eliel Gonzalez 12.
"It's monumental because that team is going to definitely finish in the top four (in the division), and the fact we've beaten both times could play huge in a tiebreaker," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "Because they've beaten Pearl River."
The first time Mississippi Gulf Coast played East Central, the Lady Bulldogs got steamrolled. Thursday night at the Weathers/Wentzell Center, Gulf Coast turned the ball over 13 times and could never recover, losing 56-44. "I think our post play was good, but we have to get the ball to them," Lady Bulldogs coach Jason Conner said. "You can't turn it over 31 times." Hayley Pichon had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Gulf Coast, who lost 91-48 in the first meeting at Decatur.
No. 6 Mississippi Gulf Coast opened its softball season with a 6-1 victory over Navarro on Friday in the Wallace State Tournament in Hanceville, Ala.Deborah Elmore with 3-for-3 with an RBI double, and Ole Miss signee Kaitlin Lee pitched a five-hitter, striking out eight with no walks.Izzy Werdann banged out a two-run home run, and Hannah Melendrez had an RBI double. Lee aided her cause by driving in a run with a sacrifice bunt. The Bulldogs (1-0) had six hits, including a double by Molly Murphy.
Mississippi Gulf Coast dug a big hole in its second game Friday, but rallied from a six-run deficit to win 8-7 over Chattanooga State. The Lady Bulldogs (2-0) were down 6-0 after four innings, but claimed a big win over another ranked team in the Wallace State Tournament in Atmore, Ala.
Gulf Coast is ranked sixth in Division II and will play four more games over the next two days. Ole Miss signee Kaitlin Lee drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the seventh for the winning run. Lexie Mathis drove in a pair of runs in the sixth inning with a triple, then finished rounding the bases on an error on the play. Brittany Cooley and Tabitha Johnson had two hits each, and Jennifer Walker had a double. Deborah Elmore drove in two runs.
Mississippi Gulf Coast rallied from a four-run deficit to win its season-opener at MGM Park, a 5-4 victory over Jackson State (Tenn.). Marcus Buckley hit a bases-loaded fly ball in the right-field corner with one out. The right fielder dropped the ball and threw Buckley out at first, but courtesy runner Andrew Ryals scored easily. The Bulldogs fell behind 4-0 with some sloppy play, but got fourth-inning, bases-loaded walks from Buckley and Ian Goff to cut the deficit in half. Tyler Evans drove in two runs with a fifth-inning single to tie it, and the Bulldogs' bullpen shut the door the rest of the way. Brandon Kennedy got the win by striking out the third batter in the top of the seventh, his only batter faced. Three different relievers each got an out in the frame, with the bullpen compiling 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Justin Nussbaum and Michael Shubert had two hits each. Shubert had a double.