GULFPORT -- It looked like Gulfport's softball Admirals were going to comfortably secure Region 8-6A's third seed Monday night. Gulfport built a three-run lead against visiting Biloxi going into the final inning but, as coach Ryan Hodge later said, the cards didn't fall their way.
After an RBI-single by Katherine Patterson, the Lady Indians loaded the bases for Lydia Harrington and she made Gulfport pay. The BHS shortstop belted a ball deep over the center fielder's head and came around to score what ended up being an insurance run in the 6-4 comeback victory.
The late rally was Biloxi's second in as many games against the rival.
"I have been so, so unbelievably proud of the never say die attitude of this team. Talent-wise we may not match up with everybody, but we have some great kids and they've worked hard," BHS coach Bruce Thornton said. "I don't know of a time when I've been more proud of a team."
The victory had no bearing on Biloxi's post-season as the Lady Indians (12-6-1, 4-2) already locked up second in 8-6A and will host Terry on Friday for a first-round doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.
There was still an outside shot Gulfport (11-11, 1-5) could have sneaked into the playoffs after the loss, but the Lady Admirals lost out on tiebreakers to Hancock.
"We made all the plays for the most part (early in the game)," Hodge said. "We struggled to throw strikes there (in the seventh). When you don't throw strikes and you walk one and then force it down the middle they're going to tee off on it. They have some good hitters and believe they can come back."
Biloxi took an early 1-0 lead Monday on a double by pitcher Olivia Holley, scoring courtesy runner Bre Buchanon.
Fallon Brown's RBI single in the second tied the game 1-1.
Two Biloxi errors paved the way for the Lady Admirals to take a 3-1 lead in the third. Holley misplayed a comebacker, allowing Taylor Chambliss to score. After another fielding error, Whitney Seymour singled to center, scoring Sara Lindsey.
Jessica Lee scored on a fielders choice off the bat of Jayden Bishop in the fourth, pushing Gulfport's lead to 4-1.
Chambliss gave her team a chance to clinch a playoff berth, scattering six base runners through six innings.
"She was pretty much in control, keeping them off balance and hitting her spots well," Hodge said. "Anytime you face good hitters you have to continue to do that for seven innings."
Scott led off the seventh with a double and came around to score on Patterson's single. Christine Marsland singled and Sydney Cannette walked to load the bases for Harrington's mad dash around the bases.
"Lydia has been looking for a pitch up in the zone and she has really been swinging the bat well lately and seeing the ball so good," Thornton said. "We were hitting the ball early, but they were just a lot of ground balls out in front of home plate because of (Chambliss') drop ball. But she got tired and the ball elevated and we took advantage of it."
Holley retired the Lady Admirals in order in the seventh to secure the win.
Carlie Vice and Scott each had two hits for BHS.
Chambliss went 3-for-3 at the plate for Gulfport. Seymour had two hits.