April 22, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - In front of a record crowd of 902, the University of Southern Mississippi softball team hosted No. 7 Alabama in a nonconference midweek game at the Southern Miss Softball Complex. The Crimson Tide capitalized off of several Golden Eagle miscues to record a 12-0 victory.
"It is great to be able to host a team like Alabama and have a crowd like we did tonight," co-head coach Kirsten Voak commented after the game.
Southern Miss tallied six hits in the game led by sophomore Katie Cleary who boasted a team-best three hits. Three of the four Golden Eagles who recorded hits on the night were sophomores - Cleary, Sarah Evans and Morgan McKeever. Taylor Beck also added a base hit in the game.
In the circle, true freshman Samantha Robles tossed a complete game against the nationally-ranked foe. Robles allowed 12 runs (four earned runs) on 12 hits and two walks in 7.0 innings of work.
"Katie has been doing it all season," Voak added. "For our freshmen and sophomores to come out here and not blink an eye is impressive. We are an up-and-coming team and we are here to compete. We have a predominantly young team so seeing them come out and not have the jitters that they did last year and to mature the way they have been is great."
Alabama broke the scoreless tie in the top of the second inning. With one out, the Crimson Tide used a hit batter to place a runner on first base. The next batter singled through the left side of the infield. With two outs, Bama broke the scoreless tie with a RBI double to right field. The Tide used a two-RBI single up the middle to cap a three-run inning. Senior catcher Mackenzie Sher ended the inning with her arm as she threw out the base runner trying to steal second base.
The Crimson Tide increased their lead with four runs in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Alabama used a double to left field to pace a runner in scoring position. The next batter benefited from a Southern Miss error to reach base. On the play, the runner on second advanced home for the first run of the inning. The Tide used a single and a pinch-hit home run by Marisa Runyon to push the advantage to 7-0.
Alabama increased its lead to 12-0 with five runs in the seventh inning. The Crimson Tide used five hits and capitalized on a pair of Golden Eagle errors to score five runs and provide the final margin of victory. Four of the five runs scored in the inning were unearned.
Southern Miss remains out of conference over the weekend as the Golden Eagles travel to Phoenix, Ariz., for a three-game nonconference series with nationally-ranked Arizona State. Live stats and in-game tweets (@USMSoftball) will be available throughout the weekend.