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Gulf Coast flips script against TCC

Tyler Waldrep

PANAMA CITY — Something about Tallahassee brings out the best in Gulf Coast catcher Allison Shiver.

Shiver has recorded four hits against the Eagles this season, including her only two home runs, in five plate appearances with four RBI. In her other 47 plate appearances, she has only 11 hits and seven RBI.

“She’s got some pop, it’s kind of hit or miss,” Gulf Coast coach Beth Wade said. “She’s streaky, she’s pretty streaky.”

On Monday night she played a starring role in game two of the doubleheader against the Eagles when she connected on both of her plate appearances to finish with a double and a walk-off home run that ended the game in the fifth inning for a 9-0 Lady Commodores victory.

Shiver wasn’t in the lineup in the first game, but the Lady Commodores didn’t seem to need her. Sophomore Hayden Lindsay drove in Dixie Guesnard in the sixth inning to secure an 11-3 victory for Gulf Coast (30-10, 7-3 Panhandle Conference) against Tallahassee (15-24, 2-8).

Guesnard finished the first game with a team-high three RBI and was one of the most consistent GC players at the plate. She and Kristina Warford were the only Gulf Coast batters to record three hits in the first game, although several of their teammates were denied that chance when they were walked.

Eight different Gulf Coast runners scored in the first game and six of them also finished with at least one RBI. It was a complete 180 from the first game on March 12 when Eagles pitcher Sidney Mathis held Wade’s team to a single hit in an 8-0 loss.

“They obviously made adjustments well and were a little more aggressive at the plate and did a good job against a good pitcher,” Wade said of her hitters’ performance against Mathis, who was pulled in the fifth inning.

It was Guesnard’s hit in the fifth that gave her team the lead for the first time on Monday when she drove in both Kaylee Raines and Sam Sisco to make it 4-3.

Monday also served as Sisco’s return to the lineup for the first time since a 4-3 loss to LSU Eunice on March 9.

“It’s just good to be able to get her back in there,” Wade said of Sisco. “She’s got to get settled down a little bit. It’s the first live at-bats she’s had in a couple of weeks, so she’ll come around.”

Her rust at the plate seemed evident in the first game as she struck out twice in four appearances and reached base once because of an error.

Before missing time with an undisclosed medical condition, Sisco was one of the Lady Commodores’ deadliest bats in the lineup. Her speed on the bases had her fifth in the nation in stolen bases entering the game and that same speed was on display when she scored from first base on Guesnard’s hit.

She isn’t the only Gulf Coast player pacing the rest of the country. Prior to Monday, pitcher Hannah Poole was tied for third in the nation in strikeouts with 147 in 116 innings. Poole struck out seven batters while allowing only three hits in the second game in five innings of work.

In the first game, pitcher Brittany Crowson took her turn in the circle and struck out five batters in six innings while allowing six hits.

The Lady Commodores will hit the road on Wednesday for a doubleheader against Northwest Florida State before returning home to face Chipola twice on Friday with the first game getting underway at 4 p.m.

“It was a good night,” Wade said. “Hopefully, with it (being) two shorter games, we got a lot of games this week. So you gotta keep the arms fresh.”


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