Press release from Southern Miss Athletics
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss softball team split a doubleheader with UAB in the first home Conference USA series of the season on Saturday afternoon at the Softball Complex. The Golden Eagles (15-15, 2-3 C-USA) posted a 6-3 victory in game one, before dropping a 7-1 decision to the Blazers (9-17, 1-1) in game two.
On the day, the Black and Gold tallied 14 hits, including a home run and a double. Katie Cleary, Tori Dew, Sarah Evans, Morgan McKeever, and Michelle Stringer each had a pair of hits on the day. Cleary hit her second home run of the season, while Dew added a double. Cleary, Dew, and Bailey Stokes led the way with two RBI apiece, while Rachel Johnson also added a run batted in. Evans led the team in runs scored with two while Cleary, Dew, Lauren Holifield, McKeever, and Samantha Reynolds also added runs on the day.
In the circle, Southern Miss used a trio of pitchers on the day. Danielle Block earned the start in both games, tossing a complete game in game one. Block finished the day 1-1 allowing five runs (four earned runs) on 11 hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 8.1 innings of work. In game one, Block tossed a season-high 7.0 innings, tying her career best. She finished with five strikeouts – one shy of her season-high and two back of her career best. Jillian Johnson relieved Block in game two. The sophomore worked 3.0 innings allowing four runs on five hits with a pair of walks. J. Johnson was relieved by Meredith Miller who pitched 2.2 innings allowing one run on four hits.
The Golden Eagles and Blazers conclude the three-game series with the rubber match on Sunday afternoon at the Softball Complex. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m. The game will be part of Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend and all fans are encouraged to wear pink. Live stats and in-game tweets (@SouthernMissSB) will be available throughout the game, while Drew Granger will handle play-by-play on the live audio and live video stream.
Game 1 Recap: Six-Run Inning Lifts Softball to Win Over UAB
The Southern Miss softball team scored six run in the third inning to take control of the first game of a doubleheader with UAB and cruised to a 6-3 victory. The win was the first for the Golden Eagles over the Blazers since 2014 and it was the most runs scored against UAB since March 30, 2008 (W, 7-1).
UAB was the first team to scratch the scoreboard. The Blazers used a fielding error to place a runner on first base. With one out, UAB used a double to right center field to score the runner and take an early 1-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles responded in the third inning with a six-run inning. The inning marked the seventh time this season the Black and Gold scored five or more runs in an inning and the eighth time this year Southern Miss batted around.
Reynolds got things started with a one-out single to left center field. With two outs, McKeever singled through the right side of the infield, advancing Reynolds to third. Dew followed with a two-RBI double to right center field to give Southern Miss the lead. Cleary followed with a two-run home run to right field, pushing the advantage to 4-1. The home run was the second of the season for Cleary and the fourth of her Golden Eagle career. The two-out magic continued as Holifield continued the inning with a walk. She advanced to third as Evans reached on a fielding error by the Blazers. Stokes followed with a two-run single up the middle, giving the home team a 6-1 edge.
UAB chipped into the Southern Miss lead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. A walk and a fielder’s choice left the Blazers with a runner on first base. With two outs, UAB’s Sara Beth Williamson hit a two-run home run to right field to cut the Golden Eagle advantage in half, 6-3.
Block stopped the Blazers from coming back, facing one batter over the minimum in the final two innings.
Game 2 Recap: Softball Falls to UAB in Nightcap
In game two, Southern Miss fell behind early and was unable to mount a comeback, dropping a 7-1 decision against UAB.
UAB started the game with a single by 2015 Conference USA Player of the Year Caitlin Attfield. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on an infield single. Attfield came around to score on a two-out RBI single.
The Blazers added a run in the top of the second. With one out, UAB used a single followed by a triple by Attfield to extend its lead to 2-0.
UAB broke the game open in the fifth inning. The Blazers scored five runs on five hits to take a 7-0 lead. The inning included a RBI triple off the right center field fence from JoJo Fallen and four consecutive singles.
Southern Miss attempted a comeback in the seventh inning. Holifield and Evans started the inning with back-to-back singles. With one out, a fielder’s choice left Evans on second and Kaelyn Christofferson on first. Tori Rouse reached base on a fielding error by UAB that loaded the bases. R. Johnson drew a walk to score Evans and put the Golden Eagles on the scoreboard, however, a groundout ended the game with the bases loaded.