April 2, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss took early leads in both games, but Troy rallied back to earn a pair of wins on Tuesday night at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
In the first game of the day, Southern Miss jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the second inning, but Troy rallied back to score nine unanswered runs, including two in extra innings, to win 9-7.
In the nightcap, the Golden Eagles went up 4-1, scoring pairs of runs in the second and fourth innings, but Troy rallied back yet again, scoring five runs in the top of the fifth, to go up 6-4 and hold on for the win.
"You've got to be able to take leads and not coast," said co-head coach Jon Malgradi. "I think we took the lead and then got kind of comfortable, and give Troy credit, they got back into it. We need to regroup, get back into our process, and get ready for a very competitive Memphis team this weekend."
Southern Miss is back on the diamond on Saturday when begin a three-game series with Conference USA Rival Memphis. On Saturday, the two teams will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and a single game on Sunday also at 1 p.m.
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Southern Miss jumped out to a big seven-run lead in the bottom of the second on three hits, a pair of bases-loaded walks and a bases-loaded wild pitch.
The inning began as Mackenzie Sher walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Kaitlin Wilson and Michelle Stringer drew consecutive walks to load the bases, Kristen Franson got the fourth walk of the inning to make it 1-0.
With the bases still loaded, Katie Cleary sent the first pitch she saw from reliever Rachel Rigney into center field to make it 2-0 and an illegal pitch advanced the runners to make it 3-0. One pitch later, Morgan McKeever doubled to the gap to make it a 5-0 game and a walk and wild pitch after pushed the lead to 7-0.
But, the Trojans rallied back, scoring two runs in the third and fourth innings to make it 7-4 before scoring three runs, highlighted by a Chandler Griffin bunt single, to tie the game up in the fifth and eventually force extras.
Off reliever Emily Wood, the Trojans got a two-run homer from leading batter Caitlin Ortiz - her fourth of the year - to plate the winning runs and take it 9-7. Wood (0-4) suffered the loss in 3.1 innings of relief of starter Beth Dietrich. Wood gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out and walking two each while Dietrich went 4.2, giving up eight hits and seven runs (five earned) while striking out a season-high five batters and walking two.
Troy got on the board first in the night cap, plating one run via a walk in a bases loaded situation to go up 1-0 in the second inning.
Southern Miss answered back in their half of the inning as freshman Michelle Stringer followed Mackenzie Sher and Jenifer Gary's singles to right field with a single of her own, driving in Sher from third.
After Franson walked, Sarah Evans hit into a fielder's choice on the right side which would have resulted in a double play, but nifty running by Franson kept the play alive long enough for Gary to score and put the Eagles up 2-1.
Evans got her second RBI of the game in the fourth inning as she doubled down the left field line to drive in Stringer from second, who walked as the second batter of the inning. Cleary continued her hot hitting streak in her next at bat, singling up the middle to drive in Evans, to make it a 4-1 ball game.
Troy answered back in the top of the fifth, batting around their lineup, with five hits, two walks and a hit batter to take a 6-4 lead where they would hold on for their second victory of the night.
Kimberly Wagner (6-5) took the loss, throwing the complete seven innings while compiling a fairly odd stat line. In her seven innings of work, Wagner gave up six runs on six hits while walking six and also striking out six.
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