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No. 2 Gulf Coast rips Lady Wolves

WESSON — Ranked No. 2 in the nation, the Mississippi Gulf CoastCommunity College Lady Bulldogs showed why the deserved that highranking Saturday afternoon. Gulf Coast blew in like a hurricane andswept two South Division games from the Co-Lin Lady Wolves in theregular-season finale.

The Lady Bulldogs won the opener 10-0 in 5 innings and clinchedthe finale with a 5-1 win. It brought an end to the Lady Wolves’season and a chance at the state tournament.

Co-Lin was the defending MACJC South Division, MACJC StateTournament and NJCAA Region 23 champ.

Gulf Coast improved to 35-2 on the season with the sweep. TheLady Bulldogs are coached by Kenneth Long. Joining Gulf Coast outof the South is Pearl River. Both teams will battle the Northdivision winners, beginning Friday, May 4, and continuing throughSaturday, May 5, at a North location.

“Co-Lin has a good team,” said Long after the wins. “We were alittle flat in the second game. We had already clinched the SouthDivision title last week. We tried to come in an play like wealways have.”

The Lady Wolves finish their season with a 25-15 worksheet. Theyplaced third in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament lastyear.

It was a must-win situation for Co-Lin. The Lady Wolves had towin both games and hope for other upsets in South Division playelsewhere.

“Gulf Coast showed why they are No. 2 in the country today,”said Co-Lin head coach Allen Kent after the games. “They have greatexecution. They have great hitting through the lineup.

“You can’t have an off day in our division,” stated Kent. “Wedidn’t get it done.”

Gulf Coast 10, Co-Lin 0

The Lady Bulldogs scored 3 runs in the top of the first inningand added 5 in the second. Gulf Coast tacked on 2 more runs in thetop of the fifth and held Co-Lin scoreless to evoke the 10-runrule.

Danielle Ryan (21-0), a Madison (Central) product, was thewinning pitcher in the first game with 5 strikeouts, no walks and 6hits allowed.

Losing hurler Erin Douglass (4-4) worked the first 4 inningswith 2 strikeouts, 3 walks and 8 hits allowed. Meleah Brown tookover and finished with 3 strikeouts and 2 hits allowed.

Natalie Travasos and Amy Husley powered Gulf Coast with a doubleand a single apiece. Ashton Nelson singled twice.

Catcher Kaylin Burke singled twice for Co-in.

Gulf Coast 5, Co-Lin 1

In the second game, Gulf Coast scored 1 run in the top of thefirst and second innings for a 2-0 lead. The Lady Bulldogs added 2more runs in the fourth to push their lead to 4-0.

Co-Lin scored its only run of the day in the seventh inning tocut the final score to 5-1. Shortstop Kady King led off with asingle. Ashley Sykes and Burke advanced to first base onback-to-back errors by Gulf Coast. Candace Braxton came in to pinchrun for Sykes after King scored the lone run.

King powered the Lady Wolves with 3 singles. Emily Langley,Sykes and Douglass drilled 2 singles apiece.

Posting the win in seven innings was Lauren Harger (10-2) withno strikeouts, no walks and 6 hits allowed. Caroline Burks (4-2)took the loss with 4 strikeouts, 3 walks and 9 hits allowed.

The Lady Bulldogs got a double and a single from Desiree Truett.Takeia Edwards and Christy Lyons collected 2 singles apiece. Hargerdoubled.

Co-Lin committed 3 errors and Gulf Coast finished with 2.

“We hustled hard,” added Kent. “We have players hurt. Kady King,Britnee Smith and Lauren Smith’s injures. It took its toll. We hadplayers playing out of position. They stepped it up in thegames.”