HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - USM Press Release
The Southern Miss softball team returned to the Softball Complex for a doubleheader with Ole Miss on Wednesday evening. The Golden Eagles scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of game one to break a scoreless tie to ultimately pick up a 2-1 victory over the Rebels. In game two, Ole Miss jumped out to an early lead and earned a 10-1 win in five innings.
The Southern Miss win was the first for the Golden Eagles in the series since 2013 – a 7-4 win in Oxford, Miss. Prior to the 2-1 win, the last time USM defeated Ole Miss in Hattiesburg came in 2004 (W, 6-5).
Samantha Robles tossed a complete game in the first half of the doubleheader. The redshirt sophomore scattered five hits over 7.0 innings of work. Robles allowed a run with a walk and three strikeouts. She faced the minimum through the first four innings. Robles had her no-hit bid broken up in the top of the fifth inning.
Jillian Johnson and Danielle Block combined to pitch the second game. J. Johnson was charged with the loss. The sophomore surrendered eight runs (seven earned runs) on 12 hits with four walks in 4.0 innings of work. Block tossed an inning allowing two runs on three hits.
Offensively, the Golden Eagles were held to just a pair of hits in game one, but made them count. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Southern Miss used a walk and a double to break the scoreless tie. The Black and Gold followed with another walk and a single to score two runs, which proved to be enough for the W. In game two, the Rebels limited the Golden Eagles to four hits.
Morgan McKeever and Katie Cleary each had two hits apiece on the day, while Tori Dew and J. Johnson also had base knocks. One of McKeever's hit was a double. Rachel Johnson, Sydney Pollock and McKeever each scored runs, while McKeever, Cleary and J. Johnson each drove in runs.
Southern Miss returns to action over the weekend as the Golden Eagles travel to Gulfport, Miss. for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Softball Classic. The Black and Gold will play Southeastern Louisiana, Baylor, McNeese State, Nicholls, and Incarnate Word. Live stats and in-game tweets (@SouthernMissSB) will be available throughout the tournament.
Game 1 – Softball Rallies Late for 2-1 Victory Over Ole Miss
In game one, Southern Miss and Ole Miss were locked in a pitcher's duel. Robles walked the lead batter in the first inning, but used a double play to face the minimum in the inning. The redshirt sophomore faced the minimum for the first four innings. Robles had a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
The Golden Eagles were held off the scoreboard until the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, R. Johnson worked the count full before drawing a walk, breaking up the Rebels attempt at a perfect game. McKeever followed with the team's first hit of the night – a RBI double to right field. S. Pollock entered the game to run at second base for McKeever. Dew drew a four-pitch walk and Arielle Pollock entered to run at first. Cleary singled through the right side of the infield, scoring S. Pollock from second and putting the home team in front 2-0.
The Rebels attempted to rally in the top of the seventh inning. Ole Miss' Natalie Martinez led off the inning with a solo home run to left center field. The next batter Ashton Lampton doubled to right field. The Rebels used a sacrifice bunt to move the tying run to third base. The next batter popped up a bunt that was caught by Robles. She quickly fired to Lauren Holifield, covering at third base for the game-ending double play to secure the victory.
Game 2 – Softball Falls to Rebels in Second Game of Doubleheader
The second game saw Ole Miss score early and often to earn a 10-1 win in five innings over Southern Miss. The Rebels recorded 15 hits in the game, including three doubles, and benefitted from a Golden Eagle error to register the win.
In the first inning, the Rebels scratched out a pair of runs on four singles to take a 2-0 lead. The Golden Eagles responded in the bottom of the frame with a run. McKeever led off the inning with a single and Dew followed with a base hit to center field. Cleary loaded the bases with a single up the middle. With one out, J. Johnson singled to right field to score McKeever from third.
Ole Miss added three runs in the top of the second on three hits and a Southern Miss error. The Rebels added two runs in the third and an additional three runs in the fourth inning to push their lead to 10-1, which they would not relinquish.