April 29, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss fell in extra innings for the second consecutive day to Conference USA foe UAB on Sunday, 4-2, at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
It was the final home conference game for six Golden Eagles on Sunday.
Whitney Fletcher doubled to the gap in left center to get the Blazers going in the third inning. Following a sacrifice bunt, Fletcher came in on a single to left field from Kayla Orr.
The Golden Eagles (13-30, 4-16 C-USA) responded in the bottom of the frame as Gabby Luciani reached on a fielding error and came in two batters later on Caroline Walker's single up the middle. Leslie LeJune, who singled earlier in the inning, moved to third and came in on a failed pick-off attempt to give Southern Miss a 2-1 lead.
UAB (35-17, 16-5 C-USA) knotted the game up in the fourth as Fletcher again doubled to drive in Heather Pearson from first.
In the seventh, the Golden Eagles looked to carry the tie ball game into their half of the frame, but a wild pitch allowed Kelly McGrath to reach safely after striking out for what would have been the third out to load the bases. Pitcher Beth Dietrich got herself out of the jam one batter later with a pop-up to third baseman Chanell Thurman to end the threat.
A pair of seniors led off the seventh - LeJune and Britney Dinelt - and both reached with a single and a fielder's choice followed by a fielding error, respectively, to give the Golden Eagles a pair of base runners on second and third with no outs. A lineout, strikeout and groundout followed as UAB fended off the threat to force the game into extra innings.
UAB's Kate Armstrong led off the eighth inning with her first homer of the season, a solo shot to left field, to give the Blazers a 3-2 lead. Kayla Orr made it a 4-2 game with a double to left field to drive in Fletcher from first on a hit-and-run play.
Southern Miss was unable to rally in the eighth as they fell to UAB on Senior Day.
Dietrich (7-13) suffered the loss on 5.1 innings of work while scattering six hits and giving up three hits and striking out five. Lannah Campbell (13-6) earned her second victory of the weekend on four innings of work while striking out five and giving up three hits.
Following the game, six Golden Eagle seniors were honored for their contributions to the program in their final home conference game: Thurman, Stephanie Shiflet, LeJune, Courtney Ramos, Luciani, and Dinelt.
Southern Miss will complete their home schedule on Wednesday when they host Southeastern Louisiana before traveling to Houston for their final C-USA series before the conference tournament in Birmingham, May 10-12.
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