Golden Eagle Softballers Fall at Baylor in Pair of Close Affairs
Feb. 12, 2013
WACO, Texas - Southern Miss (2-7) suffered a pair of tough-luck losses on Tuesday in the final games of their nine-game road trip at previously top-25 ranked Baylor (5-2).
The Golden Eagles battled through the first game, taking the opportunities when presented, but were unable to get the bats going against 2011 All-American Whitney Canion. In game two, the team reversed their fortunes and played error-less defense behind freshman pitcher Kaitlin Wilson but fell to single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Game 1: Baylor took advantage of two early Southern Miss errors, plating Kathy Shelton on a two-out fly ball to center field from Linsey Hays to make it 1-0 in the first.
Lady Bears' starting pitcher Canion, a 2011 NFCA second-team All-American, struck out six of the first nine Golden Eagle batters she faced and helped her own cause at the plate in the third with a two-out single into left field to drive in a pair of runs and put the Lady Bears up 3-0.
After 5.2 innings of work, Canion (2-1) was relieved by Courtney Repka after throwing a season-tying best 12 strikeouts and surrendering just one Golden Eagle hit.
Repka was able to maintain the rhythm of the game and pitched out the final 1.1 without surrendering a run to earn the save.
Beth Dietrich (0-3) suffered the tough-luck loss, pitching all six while giving up three runs (two earned) and nine hits.
Game 2: Southern Miss turned the tables in the nightcap, grabbing an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Mackenzie Sher reached on a fielder's choice and, following Meaghen Nelson's double, came in from third on a wild pitch.
In the top of the sixth, shortstop Caroline Walker raked a one-out double into right center and advanced over on Morgan McKeever's ground-out to the right side, but Southern Miss was unable to add to their lead any further.
Through the first five innings, Wilson, who got her first win in the circle with a victory at Fresno State over the weekend, surrendered just one hit - an infield single - and allowed just one base runner past first.
However, in the sixth, the Lady Bears got two runs, including a double on a misplayed ball in right center, to tie the game up at 1-1.
In their half of the seventh, Southern Miss threatened with a pair of base runners, but the Eagles were unable to plate any runs and carried the deadlocked game to the bottom of the seventh where the pitcher, Heather Stearns, helped her own cause with a first-pitch walk-off homer.
Wilson (1-2) pitched a gem of a game but took the loss on six innings of work. She gave up just four hits and two runs while walking one and striking out two.
Southern Miss returns to action on Friday when they open their 2013 home slate with the Southern Miss Invitational and Jacksonville State at 6 p.m. at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
Tickets for the tournament $20 for all-tournament chairback passes, $15 and $10 for adults and youth general admission, respectively. Day passes and single game tickets are $8 for chairbacks, $6 and $4 for adult and youth general admission, respectively.