Softball Completes Sweep of Alcorn State
March 13, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi posted an 8-0 run-rule victory over Alcorn State to sweep a three-game nonconference midweek series. The win increases the Golden Eagles' winning streak to five games - the longest win streak since winning five games from April 13-20, 2011.
Offensively, the Black and Gold recorded eight runs on nine hits. Eight different batters had a base hit in the game with Arielle Pollock leading the team with two base hits. Mackenzie Sher made her one base hit count as she belted a solo home run - her fourth of the season. Sarah Evans led the team with two RBI on the day with sixth others driving in a run. Eight different Southern Miss players scored runs on the day.
In the circle, Shelbee Rodgers picked up her second victory of the week and seventh win of the season. In 5.0 innings of work, the junior surrendered just one hit two walks, while striking out eight batters. Rodgers only allowed one base runner to reach second base and faced just two batters over the minimum. She struck out at least one batter in each inning and retired the final 10 batters in a row.
Southern Miss was the first team to scratch the scoreboard, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Golden Eagles improved to 10-2 when scoring in the first inning and 10-4 overall when scoring first.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Sher put the home team on the scoreboard with a solo home run to right field. The homer was the fourth of the season for the senior and the 18th of her career. Sher moved into a tie for seventh place all-time in the Southern Miss archives with Jenn Ford (1999-00) in career home runs.
The game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth inning. In the fourth, the Golden Eagles erupted for seven runs on five hits to put the run-rule in effect. Katie Cleary was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Michelle Stringer followed with a walk. Pollock loaded the bases with a bunt single down the third base line. Evans followed with a two-RBI single to center field. She advanced to second on the throw in from the outfield, leaving the Golden Eagles with runners on second and third with no outs. Meaghen Nelson reloaded the bases with a walk, prompting a pitching change. During the pitching change, Mikayla Davis entered the game at second base to run for Evans. Taylor Beck hit a grounder to third base and the Lady Braves elected to throw home to get the lead runner. Pollock was able to slide in before the ball reached home for another run. With the bases still loaded and no outs, Selena Estrada pinch hit and delivered a RBI single through the left side of the infield, scoring Davis. Rodgers re-entered to run at first base. Morgan McKeever hit a ball to shallow center field. The Alcorn State center fielder looked to have caught the ball, sending Nelson home from third, however, it was deemed that the center fielder trapped the ball. She picked up the ball and threw to third, eliminating Beck and allowing McKeever to reach on the fielder's choice. With two outs, Cleary singled up the middle, scoring Rodgers from second. Stringer drove home the eighth run of the game with a single up the middle, scoring McKeever and making the score 8-0.
The defense secured the final three outs. Stringer made a snow-cone catch in foul territory for the first out. Rodgers notched her eighth strikeout of the game for the second out and induced a groundout to the circle to close out the game.
Southern Miss returns to action on Saturday as the Golden Eagles welcome Conference USA newcomer Middle Tennessee to the Softball Complex. Live stats and in-game tweets (@USMSoftball) will be available throughout the weekend.