PERKINSTON — No. 5 Mississippi Gulf Coast has relied heavily on just two pitchers this year, but it's obviously working out well for the Lady Bulldogs.
Nora Keehn (So, Thibodaux, La./Vandebilt Catholic) and Aidan Nichols (Fr, Brandon/Brandon) will again carry the load for Gulf Coast (20-7, 9-1 MACJC) when the Lady Bulldogs play Holmes (6-18, 2-8). The doubleheader starts at 2 p.m. at D'Iberville High School.
"We were concerned coming in with just two main pitchers, but they've both just followed coach Christie Meeks' lead and worked really hard," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "We're real excited about both of those pitchers."
Keehn is 9-3 with a 1.61 ERA. She's coming off a five-hit shutout of Northeast, a game where she struck out nine and walked just one.
Nichols has won in her last six appearances and is 11-4. In that six-game stretch, she's seen her ERA shrink from 4.00 to 2.91.
They will be pitching at their fourth different "home" ballpark Friday. Gulf Coast's Ross-Smith Field is getting a new stadium, which has resulted in games being played at East Central, West Harrison and Biloxi high schools.
"It's been as smooth as we can make it, but it's a challenge," Long said. "It's really an away game every time. You get on the bus, you carry all your equipment, offload everything. It's really not a home game, but because of the reason we're doing it, it's a great thing."
Holmes broke a 10-game losing streak with a pair of wins over Mississippi Delta on Wednesday, outscoring the Trojans 22-0 in two run-rule shortened games.
"We'll bring that up today with our team an d make sure we're prepared to play," Long said before heading to D'Iberville to practice Thursday.
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