Feb. 20, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - On a chilly and sometimes rainy Wednesday night in Oxford, the Southern Miss softball team split with in-state foe Ole Miss, winning the opener 7-4 and falling in the nightcap 3-0.
"Anytime you can go on the road, especially against an in-state rival, and pick up a win like we did tonight, you're proud of your team," said co-head coach Jon Malgradi. "It's really a testament to the way these girls are preparing themselves each and every day. The conditions certainly were not optimal, but we had seven underclassmen out there at one point and were right in it the whole way."
In game one, the Golden Eagles scored multiple runs in the first three innings en route to a 7-4, seven-hit victory over the Rebels. With the win, Southern Miss snapped Ole Miss' four-game winning streak between the two teams and got their first win over the Rebels since 2008.
Game two moved at a slower pace as both pitchers settled in, and the bats cooled down with the temperatures on the diamond. The Rebels got single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to build a 3-0 lead the Eagles could not come back from.
The Golden Eagles are now 6-6 all-time in Oxford and have won three of the last four match-ups on Ole Miss' home field. Over the two games, the Golden Eagles outhit the Rebels 14-13 but were unable to find the big hit in game two.
Southern Miss returns to the diamond on Friday when they host their second tournament of the season at the Southern Miss Softball Complex with regional foes Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State. The action begins on Friday when the Eagles take on NSU at 6 p.m.
To get the most up-to-date information on Southern Miss Softball, follow the team on Twitter at @USMSoftball, get live stats via the Gametracker platform from SouthernMiss.com, or like Southern Miss Softball on Facebook.
Game 1: In the opening frame, the Golden Eagles got a lead-off walk from Caroline Walker and a single from Morgan McKeever, who both moved over on an Ole Miss illegal pitch. Following a flyout, Sarah Evan's one-out single to right field got Southern Miss a 1-0 lead.
After loading the bases, Danielle LaPointe pushed it to a 3-0 lead and chased starter Carly Hummell from the game with a double to the gap in left center, her first two RBI of the season.
Southern Miss added to their lead in the second when Madison Edwards got a lead-off walk and moved to third on Walker's double to left field before the freshman McKeever got her second hit of the day, a two-run single back up the middle.
The Rebels battled back in their side of the inning, getting three runs on four hits including a two-run triple from Melina Preciado.
Walker continued her stellar day in the third when she got her first home run of the year, a two-run shot to right-center, to push the Eagle lead to 7-3. Behind Wagner (4-2), who retired 13 of the final 17 batters she faced including a stretch of six straight, Southern Miss played stellar defense, especially on a line drive knockdown from Michelle Stringer who turned completely around to gobble up a ball and throw out a runner at first in the sixth.
After Ole Miss created some drama in the seventh, scoring one run on a two-out single from RT Cantillo, the Eagles went to senior Beth Dietrich to get the final out and her second save of the year.
Game 2: As opposed to the opener, the nightcap was a pitcher's duel, as the Eagles managed just three singles through the first three innings while the Rebels were able to get just a lone infield single.
Ole Miss got it going, however, in the fourth with a lead-off single from Allison Brown who came in after a sacrifice on a single from Marina Parra and again in the fifth with a solo home run from Cantillo.
In the sixth, the Golden Eagles got a one-out double from Evans but stranded her at third to end their lone scoring threat on the bases.
Erinn Jayjohn (1-0) picked up the complete shutout victory over the Eagles, while the freshman Kaitlin Wilson (2-3) suffered the loss, working six innings, allowing six hits and three runs.