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Stone County Enterprise
Wiggins , Mississippi
March 25, 2015     Stone County Enterprise
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March 25, 2015

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.March 25, 201S STONE COUNTY ENTERPRISE PAGE 13. SPORTS By Jody O'Hara The Stone High tennis team remained unde- feated on the year, pick- ing up three victories Saturday en route to the championship of the 11th Annual Pass Christian Tournament. It marked the sixth time in the past seven years the Tomcats have won the tournament. They defeated Gulfport 7-o, Pass Christian 7-o and St. Stanislaus/Our Lady Academy 6-1 in the championship match. Noah Rowell, Beth Owen, Trey Wegner and Reid Cudd won all their matches to remain undefeated in individual competition this season. The Tomcats, four- time defending 5-A South State champions, were scheduled to host West Harrison at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Wynn Tennis Center. By Don Hammack Gulf Coast's Hannah Melendrez used alert baserunning to help lift her team to a Game 1 victory over Hinds on Sunday. The softball gods paid her off in the second, as she nailed a two-rnn, first-inning home run that keyed an offensive explosion to lock up the MACJC South Division sweep at Ross-Smith Field. The Lady Bulldogs (22- 4, 7-1 South) won the opener 3-L and then needed just five innings to pound the Lady Eagles 11-o. Hinds fell to 7-13, 1-9. With Gulf Coast hang- ing onto a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Melendrez was on sec- ond with two outs. Reagan Prentiss hit a nubber that didn't go five feet in front of home plate. "I knew that I had to make a play somehow, someway," Prentiss said. "Whether it was a swinging bunt or over the fence, I was getting the runners in." Prentiss beat the throw to first, and Mdendrez never stopped running. "I saw the girl field it and threw it to first not watching me," she said. "I came around third and had momentum. I saw she was throwing over to first and I went ahead and ran home." It was a play totally in character for the fresh- man from DeSoto High School. "She's like that. She's a real smart baserunner and she came hard off of second," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "That was smart. I didn't have to tell her anything. That was a big run." Paige Breal (7-2) closed out her six-hitter with no further damage. She struck out seven Lady Eagles. Prentiss also doubled in a run in the fourth. Brittany Cooley had three hits to lead Gulf Coast. Hinds struggled in the field in the second game, committing six errors, including three that allowed two runs to score before Melendrez came to the plate with one runner on. She launched an inside pitch over the left field wall to make it 4-0, and the rout was on. "We really jumped on the pitchers quick," Melendrez said. "We had more energy and we smashed the ball." Deborah Elmore start- ed in the circle for Gulf Coast, allowing one hit in three innings and improving to 4-1. She also had two hits and drove in four runs. Catelyn Williams went 2-for-2. Kristen Gardner struck out four in two innings of relief. Jones MGCCC began a huge Friday doubleheader against Jones County uncharacteristically, but displayed typical fight to the end. The Lady Bulldogs dug big holes in both games, but dosed the gap late and got tying runs to the plate. They dropped the opener to the No. I team in the country 9-4 and the second game 6-3. "Sometimes you've got to gauge a team by how they finish," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "The last two or three innings of both games we battled hard and scored some runs, made some great defen- sive plays. "We'll bounce back. I'm not worried about US." Jones County remains perfect on the year, hav- ing won all 2o games overall and lO in the MACJC. The Lady Bobcats jumped out front 7-o in Game 1. Brittany Seale had a three-run blast in the four-run first. Tort Dew, the reigning NJCAA national player of the year, had a two- run second inning home run and finished with three hits. "We were nervous and we normally are not," Long said. "We were the opposite of jacked up. For some reason we were a little bit tenta- tive, a little bit nervous in that first game and that cost us big in that first inning." Jones County added another in the fifth before Gulf Coast broke into the scoring column in the bottom of the frame on Deborah Elmore's RBI double. The Lady Bulldogs scored three in the bot- tom of the sixth on a bases-loaded walk by IOmryn Theriot and an Elmore single that drove in two to make it 8-4. Britney Buffer walked to load the bases and bring up the tying run, but no more damage was done. The Lady Bulldogs left 11 runners on base. Kaiffin Lee and Alyssa Hard joined Elmore with two hits in the game. Elmore had three RBI. Paige Breal (7-3) took the loss for Gulf Coast. Kristin Gardner struck out six in 6.2 innings of relief. Game 2 started simi- larly, with Jones County going up 5-o after the top of the third. The Bulldogs got one back in the bottom of the third on Elmore's RBI single, but saw the deficit increase to 6-1 in the fourth. Elmore added a sacri- fice fly in the fifth, and Buffer's single drove in another to make it 6-3. After Catelyn Williams walked, the tying run again came to the plate but Gulf Coast couldn't get another two-out base hit. Theriot and Butler had two hits for Gulf Coast. Lee (9-2) took the loss. Gulf Coast has to put those two losses behind it quickly. "I was reminding them how big tomorrow was now," Long said. "Tomorrow is going to be huge. We've got to come out and play well, put these two behind us. I think we will." Gulf Coast (22-4, 7-3 MACJC South) turned right around and played Southwest on Saturday in Perkinston. Southwest Coming off a pair of losses Friday, MGCCC needed somebody to come through in the pitching circle against Southwest on Saturday. Kristen Gardner did it perfectly, striking out a career-high 15 Lady Bears to lead a 7-2 Game 1 victory. The Lady Bulldogs took care of the sweep, winning the second 8-3 at Ross- Smith Field. Southwest falls to 12- 12, 2-6. Needless to say, Gardner, a freshman from Vandeave, had everything working. "Her riseball was working really well. Her screwball and her curve- ball was breaking," her catcher, Brittany Cooley said. "She hasn't had a really good day like that in a while. She really needed it." Gardner (2-o) struck out the side in the first and third innings, and struck out four of the last five batters of the game. She gave up five hits. "We knew coming in during the fall she was going to be a good pitch- er for us," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "She had to kind of wait her turn and she's doing a great job. She's a real asset." Kaitlin Lee had three hits to lead the Gulf Coast attack. Cooley and Kamryn Theriot had two each after the team had a rough day against top- ranked Jones County the day before. "It really shows we can bounce back after a hard loss," Gardner said. "I'm really proud of my team. I know we can take on anyone." Cooley had a big Game 2, as well, delivering a key two-run double to break open a 2-2 tie in the third inning. "It was a screwball in on me and I went to left field on it," said the freshman from George County. "I've been in a hole lately with my hit- ting. The last couple of days I really sat down and thought about wait- ing on the ball more. I had to be more patient. I finally got my swing back." It was her second two- run hit of the game after her first-inning single opened the scoring. "She's just so confident at the plate," Long said. "She hits the ball hard. If she gets a pitch she wants, she's gonna hit it in the gap usually. "We needed that. It broke the game open a little bit." Cooley, Deborah Elmore and Britney Buffer had two hits for the Lady Bulldogs. Kaitlin Lee (10-2) pitched five innings of two-run relief to earn the victory. She struck out three and allowed six hits. 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