Softball Falters in Doubleheader with ECU
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The University of Southern Mississippi softball team dropped a doubleheader on the road against East Carolina on Saturday afternoon at the ECU Softball Stadium in Greenville, N.C. The Golden Eagles fell 8-0 in five innings before dropping a 5-1 decision in the second game of the twin bill.
Offensively, four players finished the day with base hits - Taylor Beck, Samantha Robles, Mackenzie Sher and Michelle Stringer. Robles and Sher finished the day with doubles. Beck scored a run while Morgan McKeever notched an RBI.
In the circle, the Golden Eagles received a pair of complete game efforts by Shelbee Rodgers and Robles. Rodgers earned the start in game one. The junior tossed 4.1 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned runs) on seven hits with four walks and a strikeout. Robles pitched game two, going 6.0 innings with five runs (three earned runs) on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Robles' six strikeouts was a season-high for the rookie pitcher.
Game One Recap
East Carolina was the first on the scoreboard, notching a run in the bottom of the second inning. The Pirates' Jordan Lewis led off the inning with a solo home run to left center field to put the home team in front 1-0.
The Pirates added a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning. ECU started the inning with a walk and used a stolen base to move into scoring position. With one out, East Carolina's Abby Wynne increased the lead to 3-0 with a two-run home run to straight away center field.
ECU closed out the game with five runs on three hits and a Southern Miss error in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, the home team used back-to-back triples to score the first run of the inning. A fielding error allowed another base runner. A walk loaded the bases for the Pirates. Casey Alcorn ended the game with one swing hitting a grand slam to left field to lift ECU to the 8-0 victory.
Game Two Recap
In game two, East Carolina took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. The Pirates led off the game with back-to-back singles. The next batter dropped down a bunt that was mishandled by the Golden Eagles, allowing one run to score and leaving runners on the corners. The runner on first stole second to move into scoring position. ECU scored on a sacrifice fly to center field. On the play, Southern Miss caught the trail runner in a rundown, retiring the runner at second base. Back-to-back singles combined with a fielding error allowed the third run of the inning to score. Robles ended the inning without any further damage with an inning-ending strikeout.
Southern Miss chipped into the lead with a run in the top of the third inning. Beck started the inning with a single up the middle. She advanced to third on a single down the right field line by Stringer. McKeever drove home Beck with a sacrifice fly to center field, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
The Pirates increased their advantage in the bottom of the third inning. Robles got the leadoff batter out on strikes, but back-to-back singles allowed two base runners. The next batter drove in the runners with a one-out double to left center field. The runner on second moved to third on a sacrifice, but Robles ended the inning with a strikeout.
Neither team was able to generate a run in the final four innings with ECU claiming the 5-1 victory.
The two teams conclude the three-game series with a single game on Sunday. First pitch is slated for 11:00 a.m. (CT). Live stats and in-game tweets (@USMSoftball) will be available throughout the game.