PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Gulf Coast softball has had its ups and downs on the field this season, but a doubleheader split earlier this week with a team that hardly ever loses has head coach Kenneth Long's team feeling even more motivated.
The Lady Bulldogs (23-14, 10-8) begin another MACJC doubleheader Saturday afternoon at home against East Central after handing the Jones County Lady Bobcats just their second loss in 32 games.
"They run-ruled us the first game," said sophomore shortstop Ashley Hickman, who leads the team with 15 stolen bases. "In the second game, we kind of got chewed out but we came out and we played hard. We fought with them."
"I really believe in my team's [ability] to pull out strong wins," said sophomore second baseman Emily Davis. "We're the type of team that, when somebody knocks us down, we come right back up just like what we did against Jones."
Davis is tied for the team lead with Brooke Gaston with four home runs, but she leads the team in hits (44), doubles (9) and RBIs (32).
Freshman Paige Breal, who attended St. Martin High School along with Hickman, sophomore second baseman Jamie Desporte and freshman third baseman Catelyn Williams, is a part of a pitching staff that portrays a 2.44 team ERA.
Breal owns an ERA of 0.88 and she's only surrendered one home run in a team-leading 79 and 2/3 innings in the circle. She's also missed the past two weeks with a rib injury.
"I just started pitching (Thursday)," Breal said. "I'm feeling a lot better. I think it's good that these teams haven't seen me multiple times. I'm going to throw them off a bit in the second half (of the season).
"I feel like I can attack a lot more knowing that I have a great defense behind me. Our hitting is coming a long way."