HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - USM Press Release
The Southern Miss softball team returns to the diamond on Tuesday evening with a single game against long-time rival Southeastern Louisiana. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
Live stats and in-game tweets (@SouthernMissSB) will be available throughout the game. In addition, the game will be aired on southernmiss.com/allaccess with Drew Granger handling the play-by-play duties.
Southern Miss enters the week with a 12-11 (.522) overall record, while Southeastern Louisiana is 12-8 (.600). The Golden Eagles are 5-4 in Hattiesburg, while the Lions have not played a true road game, however, SLU is 3-2 away from Hammond.
The Golden Eagles and Lions have met 46 times on the softball diamond with Southern Miss holding a 26-20 (.565) advantage in a series that dates back to 1985. The Black and Gold have a 14-4 (.778) edge on the Lions in Hattiesburg.
Earlier this season, Southern Miss pounded out nine runs on 15 hits in the first game of the Gulf Coast Classic, outlasting Southeastern Louisiana in extra innings. Morgan McKeever and Katie Cleary each finished with four hits, while Tori Dew and Sarah Evans notched three. Evans led the team with five RBI, while Samantha Papp added three. Cleary had a pair of doubles, while Evans had a double and a game-tying three run home run late in the game.
In the circle, Samantha Robles tied her career-long, going 8.0 innings. She surrendered eight runs (six earned runs) on 13 hits with three walks and a season-best seven strikeouts.
Southern Miss, the designated visiting team, opened the game with a run in the top of the third inning. McKeever, Dew, and Cleary lead off the game with back-to-back-to-back singles. With two outs, Papp was hit by a pitch to put the Golden Eagles on the scoreboard.
Southeastern Louisiana responded in the bottom of the first. The leadoff batter worked the count full before drawing a walk. With one out, she stole second to move into scoring position. A fly ball was deep enough to allow the runner to advance to third. Southern Miss was charged with an illegal pitch, moving the runner home and tying the game.
The Lions added a run in the second. The leadoff batter dropped down a bunt single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, the runner stole second and came home to scorer on a throwing error by the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles knotted the score in the top of the third. Cleary led off the inning with a double to left center field. She came home to score as Evans doubled off of the center field wall.
The Black and Gold regained the lead with a run in the fourth. With two gone, McKeever singled to right field. Dew followed with an infield single. Cleary followed with a ground-rule double down the left field line to score McKeever and give Southern Miss a 3-2 advantage.
Southeastern Louisiana responded in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Lions used back-to-back singles to place a pair of runners on base with one out. The next batter singled to score the lead runner, leaving SLU with a pair of runners on base. With the score tied, Amber Sather homered to left field to put Southeastern Louisiana in front 6-3.
Southern Miss answered in the top of the sixth inning. McKeever led off the inning with a single to right center field. Cleary delivered a one-out single to give the Golden Eagles a pair of base runners. Evans knotted the score on one swing as the senior belted a three-run dinger to right field.
The home run was the first of the season for Evans and the third of her career. For Evans, it was the second home run of her career that came against Southeastern Louisiana. Last season in the Lion Classic II in Hammond, La., Evans hit a grand slam against SLU.
The score remained tied at the end of regulation and the two teams went into extra innings.
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect, McKeever was placed on second base. Dew singled to leave runners on the corners. Dew moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. With one out, Lauren Holifield was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Evans grounded out to second base, scoring the go-ahead run. The Golden Eagles added some insurance runs as Papp singled up the middle, scoring Dew and Holifield.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Lions used a single to put runners on the corners. SLU's Mychal Truxillo doubled to right center field to cut the margin to 9-8. Robles recorded the first out with a backwards K and induced a popup to third base for the second out. A four-pitch walk put the go-ahead run on first base, but a strikeout ended the game and secured the victory for Southern Miss.