Golden Eagles Split Doubleheader at Cal-State Fullerton in Season Opener
Feb. 7, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. - Southern Miss opened their 2013 campaign with a 3-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton before dropping the nightcap, 4-2, on Thursday at Anderson Family Field.
The Golden Eagles got their first victory over the Titans in program history and were led at the plate by freshman Morgan McKeever who went 3-for-7 with two RBI over both games while senior Kimberly Wagner got her first win and allowed just one run in six innings of work.
Game 1: Fullerton's freshman pitcher Jasmine Antunez carried a no-hitter into the third and had struck out four in a row but allowed Danielle LaPointe to reach on a liner into right field to snap the no-no. Following another strikeout, Caroline Walker lifted an 0-2 pitch over the head of center fielder Ashley Carter to drive in a run and put Southern Miss up 1-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Titans mounted their own offensive attack. After Kimberly Wagner nicked the inside hip of Kirsten Lamberston, a double from Tiffany Sheffler put runners on second and third. Wagner settled back in and got Ashley Carter to strike out and Carisssa Turang to ground out to end the threat.
Southern Miss added to their lead in the fifth as Madison Edwards reached on a fielder's choice, and following a walk, McKeever drilled a ball up the middle to bring her in from second.
In the sixth, Taylor Beckput the Eagles up 3-0 with a monster home run down the left field line that bounced of the light pole, her first career homer in the Black and Gold. Fullerton threatened again in the bottom half of the frame but stranded Carter on third to maintain the shutout.
After allowing the first two runners on in the seventh, Beth Dietrichmade her first appearance of the season in relief of Wagner. Dietrich got two quick outs but walked Lambertson and gave up an infield single to make it a 3-1 game. The senior quelled the storm, however, and struck out Carter to close the game and earn her first career save.
Wagner (1-0) earned the win on six innings of work, surrendering just three hits and one earned run while Antunez (0-1) suffered the loss.
Game 2: Antunez again started in the circle and pitched an absolute gem, carrying a no-hitter into the fourth, with nine strikeouts, but it was broken up as Mackenzie Shergot her first homer of the season, a booming shot into left field.
In the bottom half of the frame, Ariel Tschuiyama got a two-out single into right field to drive in Turang, in as a pinch runner, to knot the game at 1-1.
As they did in the first game, the Titans relieved Antunez with Katey Laban in the fifth inning and she allowed a pair of base runners on before McKeever - the fifth batter of the inning - knocked in Michelle Stringerfrom second to give the Eagles the 2-1 lead.
Tschuiyama added her second two-out RBI of the game in the sixth, this time on a triple that just squeezed inside the right field line and tailed away from the Golden Eagles.
With the game tied the next batter, Melissa Sechrest, drove the ball into deep right field for her first homer of the year, a two-run shot, to give the Titans a 4-2 lead.
Laban (1-0) was able to hang on and secure the victory while freshman Kaitlin Wilson(0-1) suffered her first loss of the year.
Southern Miss returns to action tomorrow when they head north to Fresno to take part in the Fresno State Invitational. The team will take on U.C. Davis and U.C. Riverside at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.