March 10, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Houston rallied back, scoring in the final four innings, to complete the Conference USA series sweep on Sunday at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
It was Kid's Day at the complex and over 100 youth softballers from the Hattiesburg area were on hand to take in that action.
For the first time in the series, the Golden Eagles took the early lead, plating a pair of runs after loading the bases when Morgan McKeever came in on a failed pick-off attempt and Conference USA home run leader Mackenzie Sher knocked in a run after smacking a ball through the legs of Houston starter Julana Shrum.
The Cougars pulled Shrum in favor of Deidre Outon after the hit, who got a fielder's choice put out at home to end the threat.
Southern Miss managed to load the bases again in the second, but a fly out to straight-away center ended the threat and kept the Golden Eagles off the board.
In their half of the third, Houston pulled the game back to even as Haley Outon hit her fifth home run of the year, a two-out, two-run shot into left field.
Houston took their lead in the fourth as back-to-back doubles netted a run for the 3-2 advantage before a Golden Eagle fielding error resulted in another run for the visitors. The Cougars added another solo run in the fifth on a Sydney Gerbracht single to make it 5-2.
For the third time in the series, the Cougars managed to find a big inning, this time it was the sixth as they racked up five runs on five hits to pull away and create a run rule situation at 10-2.
In the sixth, Southern Miss managed to get two hits from Michelle Stringer and Madison Edwards, who finished the day going 2-for-2, but a fielder's choice got Stringer at third to end the game.
Freshman Kaitlin Wilson (4-6) suffered the loss on 3.1 innings of work, surrendering four hits and four runs (three earned) while walking three. Deidre Outon, in on relief, earned her first victory of the season after pitching the final 5.2.
The Golden Eagles left a season-high nine runners on base after loading the bases in the first two innings as Houston extended their winning streak over the Black and Gold to 12 games.
Southern Miss returns to action next weekend when they travel to Huntingdon, W.V., to take on C-USA foe Marshall. Games are set for 1 p.m. on both days with Saturday serving as a doubleheader.
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