High School Sports

West seniors rally to sweep East all-stars

 St. Martin's Katelyn Gruich stood out at the annual Gulf Coast All-Star Games on Thursday.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD/FILE St. Martin's Katelyn Gruich stood out at the annual Gulf Coast All-Star Games on Thursday. SUN HERALD

BILOXI -- Poplarville's Kaley Lambert ripped a RBI single to left in the fourth inning, lifting the West to a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the East in the second game of a doubleheader in the Gulf Coast East-West Seniors Softball Classic at Biloxi High School on Thursday night.

That strike gave the West a sweep in this year's all-star twin bill after Madison Burge and Krystal Goodman combined on a three-hit, 3-0 shutout in the opener.

The West trailed 4-3 in the nightcap before St. Patrick's Elizabeth Zorich slammed a solo homer over the right field wall to tie the game at 4-4 in the third inning. Then Poplarville's Caylen Beall reached base to lead off the fourth when she struck out but raced first on a passed ball. One out later, Lambert drilled her game-winner to left.

Goodman -- who prepped at Long Beach -- was named the West's Most Valuable Player, pitching three shutout innings in the first game and one inning for a save in Game 2. She also collected two hits, including a RBI.

St. Martin's Katelyn Gruich was the East's MVP, going 3-for-5 and scoring a run in the doubleheader.

Poplarville's Jonathan Ray and St. Patrick's Tommy Castanedo were the co-head coaches for the West.

"You come in looking at this as a fun all-star game," Ray said. "But the girls are competitors and the coaches are competitors, too.

"Kaley has been a three-year starter for us (at Poplarville). She's had big hits her whole career. She has probably been our best hitter those three years. She ended her high school career doing what she's had been doing."

The West scored an unearned run to open Game 1, then Goodman and Kristen Sexton rapped RBI singles in the sixth for the 3-0 lead. Burge struck out seven in four innings, yielding only two hits.

Goodman came in and tossed one-hit ball for three innings with five strikeouts.

"I knew this would be the last time I would wear the Bearcat uniform so I tried to go out there and do my best," said Goodman, who signed with Chipola (Fla.) Junior College. "We were worked together as team."

In the nightcap, the West jumped to a 3-0 lead with RBIs from Emma Castanedo, Burge and Lena Turner. But the East scored two runs in the second, then took a 4-3 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Tori Gum of Ocean Springs and a RBI single by D'Iberville's Magnolia Keller.

West Harrison's Stephanie Necaise was the winning pitcher in Game 2.

All-Star softball ends statewide with the MAC All-Star Games at Jones County Junior College on Friday night. The games were moved up due to the possibly of inclement weather on Saturday.

On Wednesday, the West swept the East 10-3, 6-5 in the Gulf Coast Futures Softball All-Star Games.

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