March 15, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A pair of Southern Miss pitchers allowed just four hits over two games while the offense put up 17 runs as the Golden Eagle softballers picked up a pair of victories over Southern University on Thursday at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
"I thought we came out and really played well in all areas tonight," said co-head coach Jon Malgradi. "Our pitchers were really hitting their spots and we played assertively at the plate and in the field. On the bases, I thought we ran well and we're excited to get a tough conference opponent in UCF into town this weekend."
Beth Dietrich pitched seven innings of shutout softball as the Golden Eagles (9-12) defeated Southern (2-13) 7-0 in the opening game of the doubleheader.
In the nightcap, fellow hurler Courtney Ramos followed up with a one-hit performance to lead the Golden Eagles to a 10-0, five inning victory over the Lady Jaguars.
Southern Miss broke an early deadlock in the third inning as Madison Edwards singled to the shortstop as came in by way of a Leslie LeJune ground ball that skipped over first baseman Kiah Williams' glove.
The Eagles built their lead to 7-0 in the fourth as part of a six-run, five-hit outing, aided by one error. Southern Miss batted around and Carissa Turang and LeJune both picked up a pair of RBIs on stand-up doubles to the gap in left center.
Dietrich held the Lady Jaguars to just three hits in the complete game outing. She retired 13 of the final 14 batters she faced as the Golden Eagles picked up their second shutout of the season. Dietrich (4-3) struck out five batters and issued just one walk.
Mackenzie Sher highlighted a three-run first inning for the Golden Eagles with a two-run roundtripper, her second of the year, to dead center in the nightcap.
In the third, Southern Miss added three more runs including two on a triple to the gap in right field from Caroline Walker to go up 6-0.
Southern Miss built its lead in the fourth, first on heads-up base running from Stephanie Shiflet and Taylor Brown. With one out and runners on third and first, respectively, Brown advanced to second on a wild pitch and Shiflet saw the opportunity to steal home to make it a 7-0 game.
The Golden Eagles added three more runs that inning to create a 10-0 lead.
Southern was unable to come up with any offense in the fifth and the run-rule was enacted to give the Golden Eagles back-to-back shutouts for the first time since April 2010.
Ramos (3-6) tossed all five innings and struck out seven batters, a season high, without issuing a single walk and allowed just one hit. It was also the first time this season a Golden Eagle pitched allowed just a single hit. The Golden Eagles have also now won three games in a row dating back to last weekend's conference victory over UTEP.
For the day, three Golden Eagles had three or more RBI as Walker drove in four while Brittany Lilly and Sher added three each.
Southern Miss will return to action on Saturday when they host Conference USA foe UCF in a three-game set. Saturday's doubleheader is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.