As untouchable as East Bay right-hander Kayla Cox has seemed this season, veteran coach Glenn Rodriguez knew the Indians' periodic lack of offensive support for the North Carolina State signee could come back to haunt them.
Following an anemic effort Friday in a 1-0 victory against Durant, when Cox struck out 20 but East Bay managed only two hits, Rodriguez reminded his players of that.
Roughly 18 hours later, his words resonated with an I-told-you-so profundity.
In an eight-inning duel at Gaither, Cox surrendered her first earned run in 87 innings, which was all Gaither (12-5) needed to escape with a 1-0 triumph. Cox, who allowed one hit, struck out 15 and walked four, watched her ERA rise to 0.08.
"She's the real deal," Cowboys coach Al Alcala said.
Gaither manufactured its decisive run when No. 9 hitter Loni Campbell led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, Kristen McGrath followed with a single to left, Shelby Heiser bunted the runners over and Megan McGrath nailed a game-ending sacrifice fly to center.
East Bay (10-5) collected five hits but left six base runners stranded.
Rodriguez's message to reporters only hours before: "Sooner or later (the lack of run support) is going to catch up with us. I know that."