PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast picked up a pair of prestigious awards Monday during voting by the conference coaches.
Sophomore catcher Izzy Werdann was named MACJC Co-Player of the Year and Kenneth Long was named Coach of the Year. The No. 7 Lady Bulldogs are 39-12 and heading to the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament this week in Ellisville. They were MACJC regular-season and tournament runners-up.
Werdann, who played at Tate High School in Pensacola, is batting .379 with team highs in home runs (13) and RBI (55). She slugged a three-run home run against Itawamba in an MACJC Tournament elimination game Saturday that lifted Gulf Coast to the championship round.
"It's a huge honor for Izzy," Long said. "You always hope a player who's played as well as she has gets noticed. All the coaches made comments made comments about how great a year she's had. She's probably been our glue the last few weeks, hitting walk-off home runs, getting key hits, and doing a great job behind the plate.
Werdann shares the award with Itawamba second baseman Alex Brown.
Long, who passed the 500-win plateau this year, now has 530 victories at Gulf Coast. This year's squad needs one more win to reach 40 for the third consecutive year. The Lady Bulldogs have won 34 or more for seven of the last eight seasons.
"I was kind of surprised," Long said. "Coach Christie (Meeks) and Reid (Cooley) do a great job. It's a big deal to get noticed and honored by the other coaches, and I'm very appreciative."
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