March 10, 2012
EL PASO, Texas - Southern Miss (6-12, 0-2 C-USA) fell in both games of the Conference USA softball opening series to UTEP (12-14, 2-0 C-USA) on Saturday despite setting a new season-high for runs scored in the nightcap.
The two teams combined for 29 hits and 25 runs in the day's opener as the Miners won 13-12 in extra innings.
In the nightcap, the offensive slugfest continued as the squads battle to a 14-13 decision in favor of UTEP, who secured the series victory. The teams again combined for 26 hits. Taylor Brown finished the day with a 3-of-6 performance at the plate and five RBI with four walks.
Southern Miss got going early as Stephanie Shiflet reached on a walk and then stole second before coming in on Leslie LeJune's single up the middle. In the next at-bat, Taylor Brown mashed her first home run of the season with a two-run shot to center field.
Following Brown, Omeshia Moffett, with runners on second and third, added two more on a stand-up triple to left field to make it 5-0 after one inning. Shiflet came around one more time in the top of the inning and added two more runs to put the visitors up 7-0 after one.
UTEP answered back with eight runs of their own in the bottom of the frame off eight singles.
The Golden Eagles regained the lead in the second as Brown knocked in her third run of the day on a double to left-center and came in on a Caroline Walker sacrifice fly to put the Black and Gold up 9-8.
In the bottom of the frame, the Miners got a pair of their own to make it 10-9 before Southern Miss knotted it up at 10-10 in the third off Brown's four-pitch bases loaded walk.
The scoring kept on coming as UTEP got two runs in the third, two coming off the bat of Chelsea Troupe who got her 11th home run of the year. Southern Miss tied the game up at 12-12 in the top of the fourth and was able to hold the Miners scoreless for the first time on the day on their side.
After the outburst of scoring, the teams ran scoreless through the final 3.5 innings and went into extra innings for the fourth time in 2012 where UTEP was able to plate a single run in the bottom of the eighth to get the victory.
Courtney Ramos (1-6) suffered the loss after throwing seven innings and allowing five runs on 11 hits. She struck out three batters and walked four in the outing.
The game was the longest single game the Golden Eagles have played this season at over three hours and the 12 runs scored tied a season-high.
The Miners wasted no time getting on the board in the nightcap as they plated four runs on five hits to open up a 4-0 lead on the Golden Eagles.
Troupe added two more in the second with her second home run of the day to put UTEP up 6-0. Camilla Carrera followed up with a roundtripper of her own, her 15th of the season which is also a new UTEP single-season school record.
Brittany Lilly provided some offensive spark for the Eagles in the third with a three-run homer off the scoreboard to make it a 7-3 game. It was her first home run of the season and the fifth of her career.
Southern Miss poured on the runs following the Lilly homer with three more runs to bring the game within one, and with runners on second and third, freshman Carissa Turang got a one-out single through the infield to bring in both runners and put the Black and Gold up 8-7.
UTEP re-took the lead in the fourth, 9-8, as Carrera got her second home run of the day, a two-run shot to right field that was inside on the hands.
The Golden Eagles rallied back with two runs of their own off the bats of LeJune and Brown in the top of the fifth to take a 10-9 lead. UTEP answered back and continued the scoring seesaw in the bottom of the frame with five runs aided by three Golden Eagle errors to go up 14-10.
In the sixth, Southern Miss added a single run to make it 14-11 off the bat of Lilly, her fourth RBI of the night. The three hits and four RBI tied career highs for the Houston, Texas native.
Southern Miss battled back in the seventh, adding two runs off a Sher single to center field, but was unable to plate the tying run and left runners on second and third.
The Golden Eagles and Miners will square off again tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT for the final game of the three-game C-USA series.
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