April 6, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss fell to Conference USA foe Marshall in what amounted to a 12-inning pitcher's duel on Friday at the Southern Miss Softball Complex in front of a season-high 624 fans.
Southern Miss' Beth Dietrich and Marshall's Andi Williamson combined for 21 innings of near-shutout softball, but Jasmine Valle took the first pitch she saw in the 12th inning and sent it over the center field fence to break the gridlock and give the Thundering Herd (21-14, 9-4 C-USA) the victory.
In the top of the fourth, starter Courtney Ramos worked herself into a bases loaded jam but Beth Dietrich, in on relief, induced a pop out, strike out and ground out to get the Golden Eagles out of the inning unscathed.
The two teams ran scoreless through five innings but Southern Miss scratched across a run in the bottom of the sixth. Following Mackenzie Sher's lead-off single up the middle, Omeshia Moffett, in to pinch run, came in on Brittany Lilly's single to right-center that was misplayed by Herd center fielder Taylor Thompson.
With two outs in the seventh, Marshall knotted the game up on a throwing error that would have ended the ball game. After Jessica Hughes reached on a lead-off single, she advanced to second on a ground out and came in on the fielding error.
The run was the first Dietrich had surrendered since March 31 against Memphis, a span of 14 innings.
In the ninth, Southern Miss left fielder Stephanie Shiflet made an excellent diving catch to record the out and rob Thompson of a one-out single. During the Golden Eagles' half of the frame, Carissa Turang lead off with a double to the gap in left-center but was called out on appeal by the Marshall coaching staff for not calling time during what appeared to be a timeout situation.
Southern Miss threatened in the 11th but left runners on the corners, their eighth and ninth runners left on for the game.
Dietrich (5-9) suffered the loss in nine innings of relief. She scattered nine hits, struck out two batters and did not surrender a walk. Williamson (15-8) earned the complete game victory, tossing all 12 innings while giving up six hits with 10 strikeouts and five walks.
Southern Miss tied their season-high for runners left on with 10 while the Thundering Herd stranded 15. The 12-inning showdown was also the longest game, by time, the Golden Eagles had played this season coming in at 3 hours and 52 minutes.
The two teams will return to action tomorrow for a scheduled doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. at the Southern Miss Softball Complex. The "Kids Takeover" promotion will continue allowing all kids to get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket. There will also be an Easter egg hunt immediately following the second game.