Gulf Coast conquers Lady Wolves in state finals

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 7, 2001

WESSON – Gulf Coast Community College head softball coachCarolyn Patterson celebrated her team’s MACJC/NJCAA Region 23Tournament championships Saturday afternoon with gusto. After beingheld down and doused with a cooler of ice water, Patterson sprangto her feet, laughed and screamed “I don’t care,” and did a bellyslide through an infield mud puddle created by another cooler ofwater.

Patterson’s Lady Bulldogs secured their first fastpitch titlewith a resounding 14-2 triumph over the Co-Lin Lady Wolves. It wassweet revenge for Gulf Coast which had lost a 4-1 decision toCo-Lin earlier in the warm afternoon, forcing another game in thefinals of the double-elimination tournament. In seven meetings thisseason, Co-Lin had won five of the games with Gulf Coast.

The Lady Bulldogs (32-11) will host the winner of theOkiahoma-Arkansas regional next weekend at Perkinston for abest-of-three series in the opening round of the NJCAA NationalTournament. The nationals will be held in Phoenix, Ariz., May23-26.

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Patterson, caked with mud from head to toe, paused for a momentafter the game and savored the victory. “I just thank God. That’sall I need to do.”

Gulf Coast’s celebration had continued in deep center fieldafter the game. Members of the team, shouted, high-fived andpounded their fists on a sign attached to the center field fence,reading Copiah-Lincoln Lady Wolves.

Patterson praised the pitching of Gulf Coast freshmanChristi Hyatt. “She did a great job. She pitched all four games instate.”

Hyatt, a right-hander from East Central (Hurley), struck out4 batters and walked 1 in the championship game, allowing 7hits.

This the first year for the MACJC to have fastpitchsoftball. Gulf Coast won the state slowpitch title last year. “Wewere the last team to win slowpitch and the first to winfastpitch,” said Patterson. “That’s kind of nice.”

In the championship game, Gulf Coat got two big,fence-clearing home runs., Freshman leftfielder Wanda Farmer hit a2-run blast in the second and freshman catcher Ashley Nodhturft hita 3-run shot. Nodhturft, from Ocean Springs, went 4-for-4.

Co-Lin finishes the season with a 24-9 record under headcoach David Smith. After nine years at the helm, Smith is steppingdown to assume more responsibilities with student services asassociate dean of students.

“We had a great group of kids to work with,” said Smith. “Weare proud to be No. 2. There are 15 others teams sitting at thehouse.

“We beat the state champs five out of seven times,” Smithpointed out. “I love softball and I’m really going to miss it. Iplanned my marriage and whole family around it.”

Co-Lin 5, Northeast 2

Rachel Bergold was the winning pitcher. She gave up5 hits, walked 2 and fanned 2.

Leading the attack was centerfielder Sarah Reynoldswith three hits, including a double. Leftfielder Tonya Johnssingled and doubled. Collecting single hits were Christi Wallace,Jenny Chapman, Janet Chapman, Kristi Moak and RomieFuller.

Northeast finished with 5 hits. The Lady Wolvesscored 3 runs in the fourth.

Gulf Coast 3, Co-Lin 2

In Friday’s second test, Gulf Coast pushed home thewinning run in the bottom of the seventh. A long fly ball scoredthe winner as the lady Bulldogs remainedunbeaten..

The Lady Wolves were limited to 5 hits. Reynoldssingled twice. Johns, Tam West and Moak singled.

Bergold was the losing pitcher. She gave up 6 hits,walked 1 and fanned 2.

Co-Lin 6, Northeast 1

In Saturday’s opener, Bergold pitched the victory.She scattered 5 hits, fanned 4 and walked none.

Second baseman Jenny Chapman went 3-for-3 to leadCo-Lin. Davina Sandifer singled and tripled. Moak doubled twice.Johns singled twice. Gwen Smith singled.

Co-Lin 4, Gulf Coast 1

The Lady Wolves erupted for 4 5th-inning runs tobeat Gulf Coast. Jenny Chapman singled twice for Co-Lin. Johns,Janet Chapman, Smith and Moak chipped in singles.

Bergold pitched the win. She allowed 5 hits, walked1 and fanned 1.

Gulf Coast 14, Co-Lin 2

Playing their third game of the day, Co-Lin madeseveral miscues on defense.

The Lady Wolves got 7 hits. Wallace, Jenny Chapman,Johns, Sandifer, Tiffany Coquat, Smith and Moaksingled.