April 14, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss fell 8-0 to non-conference foe South Alabama on Saturday at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
Southern Miss (12-23) was bitten by the injury bug this week and as many as four players began the game in a new position for the first time this season. Senior center fielder Leslie LeJune, who has started over 140 consecutive games in the outfield, got her first career start at first base while pitcher Gabby Luciani got her first career at-bats as the designated player.
South Alabama (26-12) plated the first runs of the game in the third on a three-run roundtripper from first baseman Meghan Collins.
In the fourth, a pair of two-out triples from Blair Johnson and Brittany Fowler added three more runs to the Jaguars total to push the lead to 6-0.
The Golden Eagles found their offense in the sixth as third baseman Danielle LaPointe reached on a double to the gap in left center and left fielder Stephanie Shiflet walked to give Southern Miss a pair of base runners. However, Beard was able to get out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
South Alabama extended their lead in the seventh with a two-run homer off the bat of Alex Breeden to make it 8-0.
Beard (3-1) picked up the complete game victory with 12 strikeouts, a new career-high, while shutting out the Golden Eagles and allowing just two hits. Courtney Ramos (4-9) suffered the loss on seven complete innings of work. She gave up 12 hits and eight runs while walking two batters.
Southern Miss will return to action tomorrow when they return the field to take on South Alabama again - this time in Mobile, Ala. - at 2 p.m. at Jaguar Field.