Southern Miss and #6 Arizona State meet on the softball diamond for the first time.
Southern Miss will play five games at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas.
Southern Miss hosts No. 12 Baylor in a doubleheader on Wednesday evening.
Southern Miss used a career-high 14 strikeouts by Shelbee Rodgers to help keep the game close, allowing for the comeback.
Southern Miss dropped a 14-2 decision on the road to Arizona in five innings on Saturday afternoon.
Southern Miss snapped an 11-game losing streak to UAB with a win in the first game of a doubleheader.
Southern Miss fell 7-4 in game 1 before being edged 4-3 in eight innings in the night cap.
Fall Softball vs William Carey
Jon Malgradi and wife Kirsten Voak were named co-head coaches of the Southern Miss softball team prior to the 2012 season.
During his first two seasons working with the Southern Miss hitters, Malgradi produced back-to-back Conference USA All-Freshman team honorees. In the 2012 season, freshman Caroline Walker earned the distinction after leading the team with a .336 batting average. She notched 40 hits, including seven doubles, a pair of triples and a home run. The following year, freshman Morgan McKeever was named to the All-Freshman team. Like Walker, McKeever led the team in batting average, boasting a .269 clip with a team-best 45 hits, including seven doubles, a triple and two homers.
The 2013 season also saw junior transfer Taylor Beck earn C-USA All-Tournament accolades. The Meza, Ariz. native, finished the conference tournament, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored as the Golden Eagles fell to regular season champion UAB, 3-2, in extra innings.
In his first season at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles hitters improved their performance at the plate into a gritty force in Conference USA play.
With Malgradi leading the way, Walker was named the College Sports Madness C-USA Freshman of the Year after batting .336 with a team-high .454 slugging percentage. Along with the development of Walker, six of eight returners improved their batting averages from the previous season, including junior catcher Mackenzie Sher, who saw her average between 2011 and 2012 jump nearly 200 points.
The 2013 season saw Malgradi and staff working with a young team. Nearly 82-percent (.818) of the everyday starters had one season or less at Southern Miss. The team still produced 154 runs on 295 hits, including 52 doubles, six triples and 21 home runs.
Malgradi came to Southern Miss after spending the previous three seasons as the head coach at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., where he compiled a 102-76 record, including a top-10 ranking in 2011 and a regular season conference championship in 2010. The program also set school record marks for wins (42) and their highest ranking in the NJCAA National Poll (No. 2).
From 2006-10, Malgradi also served as a clinician at all Arizona State softball camps.
Prior to Mesa, Malgradi coached at Central Arizona College in 2008, leading the Vaqueros to a .403 team batting average, and a Division I NJCAA record 484 runs in 62 games.
In 2006-07, Malgradi coached varsity at Seton Catholic High School where he also taught science, biology and anatomy physiology. Malgradi's team went 20-2, breaking 21 of 23 school records in the process, en route to winning a state title at Seton Catholic.
Malgradi played baseball collegiately while at Fresno State during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. However, his playing career was cut short due to extensive damage in his pitching shoulder. Malgradi earned his degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports psychology in 2005 from Arizona State.
Malgradi and Voak were married in 2002 and are among a select group nationally to serve with their spouse as co-head coaches. The couple has one child, Gianna.
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