Feb. 24, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss completed the final day of their second home softball tournament with a day two split, defeating Louisiana Tech (5-7) before falling to Northwestern State (12-2) on Sunday at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
The Golden Eagles (8-11) began the day with their second consecutive victory over the Lady Techsters, earning a 5-3 decision, highlighted by Mackenzie Sher's two-run double and more timely hitting in the sixth inning.
In the nightcap, the Golden Eagles picked up where they left off in Friday's rained-out affair with Northwestern State. Down 4-3 heading into the second, the Lady Demons quickly built a 7-3 lead and went on to take their fourth victory of the weekend in a 10-5 decision.
"We got a little bit out of our game this weekend, but overall, there were a lot of positives to be found and a lot of good things were accomplished," said co-head coach Jon Malgradi. "There were times where we could have easily given in but no one in our dugout flinched and that's always a positive. We'll get things fixed in practice this week and continue improving. This is a young, young ball club and they are only going to get better going forward."
Southern Miss is back on the diamond this weekend, beginning Mar. 1, when they travel to Florida State to take part in the Renegade Classic. The Golden Eagles will take on Florida State, Appalachian State and Troy before beginning tournament play.
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.
Southern Miss had no-out, bases loaded situations in both the second and third innings and capitalized on it in the third after Louisiana Tech's Michelle Jones struck out three batters in the second.
After a walk and single from Walker and McKeever got runners on second, Taylor Beck drew a full count walk to allow for Sher's two-run double into right field.
With a 2-0 lead and runners at third and second, Michelle Stringer got a grounder to the right side to knock in the third run of the inning.
The Lady Techsters rallied back to within one in the fourth, getting two runs on a single from Anna Cross.
Southern Miss created some breathing room for themselves - and the would-be winning runs - in the sixth as Madison Edwards got it going with a two-out single up the middle before advancing to second on Walker's full-count walk. With runners at first and second, McKeever got a single through the left side to bring in Edwards from second.
A passed ball and wild pitch allowed Walker to come in from third and make it a 5-2 game before Tech added a solo run in the seventh to end the game.
Beth Dietrich earned her third save of the year while Kaitlin Wilson (3-4) picked up the victory on six innings of work.
Southern Miss and Northwestern State picked up where they left off following Friday's rained out game, with the Lady Demons holding a 4-3 lead heading into the second inning.
NSU wasted no time getting their offense going, adding three quick runs in the first two innings of play on the day to build a 7-3 lead.
Southern Miss responded in the third as Walker got a lead off bunt, moved to second on a ground out, advanced to third on a wild pitch before finally coming in on Beck's single through the left side.
In the fourth, the Golden Eagles got another run on a Walker sacrifice fly to score Jenifer Gary from third but the scoring would end there for the squad.
NSU added three more runs in the fifth to complete the scoring for the game at 10-5.
Freshman Emily Wood saw her first action in the Black and Gold, throwing the final two innings while allowing three hits and no runs. The Suwanee, Ga., native worked herself into and out of a jam to begin her Golden Eagle career in the sixth.
Kimberly Wagner (5-3) suffered the loss, giving up 10 hits and 10 runs (six earned) while walking four and striking out four over the course of the postponed game.