April 28, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss fell to Conference USA foe UAB in both games of Saturday's doubleheader at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
In the first game, the Blazers homered their way to victory as a three-run homer proved to be the difference in the 5-1 game.
UAB's Lannah Campbell turned in a career day in the second game and turned in a career-high 15 strikeouts to get the 2-1 extra-innings victory.
The Blazers struck first in the third inning as Heather Pearson reached on a lead-off error and, following a ground out, she came in on Catherine Crawford's double to the gap in left center.
In the third, Golden Eagle junior pitcher Gabby Luciani got her first career hit with a single through the left side. Southern Miss managed to load the bases with just one out, but a fly out and attempted steal at home ended the threat.
Kelly McGrath added to the Blazer lead in the fifth with a three-run homer, her 14th of the season, to left center. Another run in the sixth pushed UAB's lead to 5-0 off Whitney Fletcher's double into right field.
Sher added some life in the bottom of the seventh with a lead-off solo homer to straight-away center field to make it a 5-1 ballgame. However, Southern Miss fell in order following Sher's roundtripper to end the rally.
Beth Dietrich (7-12) picked up the loss after giving up 11 hits, five runs (four earned) while striking out four batters. Amber Torres (10-3) earned the victory after scattering six hits, giving up one run and striking out five.
Mandy Lowman gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead in the second inning with her 10th homerun of the season, a solo shot over the left field fence.
Southern Miss evened it up in the sixth as Britney Dinelt got a two-out triple into right field and came in one batter later as Caroline Walker lifted the first pitch she saw to right field to make it 1-1.
UAB threatened to retake the lead in the top of the seventh as pinch hitter Maegan Hornsby led off with a single and advanced to third on an attempted sacrifice bunt from Erica Sisson that resulted in a Golden Eagle fielding error. With two-outs and runners on second and third, the Golden Eagles intentionally loaded the bases to get to Kayla Orr who subsequently flied out to end the threat.
After the Eagles went down in order in the 7th, Lowman put the Blazers back up for good with her second homer of the game, another solo shot to left field.
Courtney Ramos (4-11) suffered the loss after scattering seven hits over eight innings while allowing just two runs and striking out four. Campbell (12-6) earned the victory on the career day with just one run allowed.
The two teams will square off tomorrow for the third and final game of the series at 1 p.m. from the Southern Miss Softball Complex.