Stunning comeback powers No. 2 MGCCC sweep

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, April 10, 2021

Down by two runs and down to their final three outs, No. 2 Mississippi Gulf Coast summoned up yet another comeback Thursday by scoring six times in a 10-6 win at No. 17 Southwest Mississippi to close out a sweep.

Sarah Brannan (So., Enterprise/Enterprise) and Kristian Jones (Fr., Southaven/DeSoto Central) homered in the final at-bat to power the rebound and get a win for Andrea Morgan (So., Jackson/Jackson Prep) after a superb relief performance.

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“This comeback means so much because we were on the road against a good team,” Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. “We had our backs against the wall, and not one player gave up or said we can’t do it. Every player came out of the dugout before we hit in that seventh inning, and every player was on board. It was phenomenal to watch.”

Emaleigh Coates (Fr., Lucedale /George County) was fantastic in the circle in a 6-2 win in the opener for Gulf Coast (21-7, 17-1 MACCC).

Morgan shut out the Bears (17-11, 9-9) over the final hitless 3.2 innings, striking out three.

Brannan broke the team huddle before the seventh, stepped into the batter’s box and slammed a solo shot to center. All five of her collegiate home runs in the last nine games.

“When she hit that home run, I knew the gates were opened,” Long said. “You could just see it.”

After a single and an error, Jones lined a homer to center for an 8-6 lead. It was her second of the game and sixth of the year. Briana Shores (So., Richland/Richland) and pinch-hitter Alyssia Little (Fr., Brandon/Brandon) had RBI groundouts for the final margin.

Morgan gave up two walks in the bottom of the inning but successfully closed things out. It was her first appearance since March 16.

“It’s crazy how things work out,” Long said. “When she came in, they didn’t score off of her and they didn’t get a hit. She had so much confidence. She threw really, really well in practice yesterday. We didn’t hesitate to bring her in.”

Coates hadn’t pitched since March 6, but she showed no signs of rust in by far her best outing of the season. She struck out eight, allowed five hits and a walk, yielding only one earned run.

“We really needed her to do what she did. She just stepped in and did a great job. I think that’s only the second game we’ve started her all year.”

K.K. Agner (Fr., Horn Lake/Magnolia Heights) hit a two-run homer, her 11th, in the seventh, and Breanna Green (Fr., Saraland, Ala./Saraland) had an RBI triple to provide three crucial insurance runs late.

Gulf Coast will play at home for the first time since March 18 when it hosts Holmes on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Ross-Smith Field, and Long will be honored for his 600th career victory which came last week against Jones.

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