April 25, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Gabby Luciani hurled a complete seven inning game and scattered seven hits, surrendering just one run, but Southern Miss fell 1-0 to in-state foe Mississippi State on Wednesday at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
It was Luciani's first outing since April 7 against Marshall and first complete game since a March 25 outing against Tulsa.
"It was exciting to see Gabby come out tonight and pitch the way she did," said co-head coach Kirsten Voak. "Unfortunately, we came up a little bit short but she put us in the position to win a softball game."
Mississippi State (30-19) broke a two-inning deadlock in the third as Ka'ili Smith got her fourth homer of the season, a solo shot off the scoreboard in left field.
The Golden Eagles (13-27) threatened to bring across the tying run in the bottom of the fourth, but a failed double-steal attempt got MSU out of the inning unscathed.
In the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs got runner Brittany Gates to third but a groundout ended the inning without harm. It was the fourth inning in the game that Mississippi State stranded a runner on third as they left a total of nine on the bases for the game.
Southern Miss fell in order in the seventh and were never able to find the big hit to tie up the ball game. The Golden Eagles stranded three runners for the game and reached second base three times.
Luciani (2-6) suffered the hard luck loss after throwing a stellar seven innings. She scattered seven hits and allowed the one run while striking out six and walking three. Stephanie Becker (17-10) earned the complete game victory with eight strikeouts and four hits surrendered.
Southern Miss will return to action on Saturday when they host Conference USA rival UAB for a three-game set with a doubleheader that day. It will also be Military Appreciation Day at the Complex and all members of the military and their families are invited to attend with discounted admission. First pitch on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.
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