Holifield's Two-Homer Performance Leads to Split
RUSTON, La. -- The Southern Miss softball team earned a doubleheader split on the road with Louisiana Tech on Saturday afternoon at the Lady Techster Softball Complex in Ruston, La. on Saturday afternoon. After dropping the first game 7-2, the Golden Eagles rallied for a 6-1 victory behind a pair of home runs by junior Lauren Holifield.
Holifield finished the day with a .500 batting average, going 4-for-8 with two home runs, three runs scored and a walk. The transfer had base hits in each game with a three-hit performance, including a pair of homers, in game two. Holifield now has 11 home runs on the season tying her with Megan Hill (2009 and 2010) and Jen Ford (1999) for fifth most in a season in school history. It is the 11th time in school history a player has recorded double-digit home runs in a season.
Tori Dew also had four hits on the day, while Sarah Evans added three hits. Michelle Stringer, Kaelyn Christofferson, Katie Cleary, and Arielle Pollock all posted two-hit performances on the day. Both of Dew's hits were doubles, giving the junior 14 on the season, and tying her for seventh in Southern Miss single-season history in the category.
Robles started the first game. The redshirt sophomore worked the first 3.2 scattering six hits and allowing five runs with three walks and two strikeouts. She gave way to J. Johnson who closed out the final 2.1 innings on a base hit and two walks, allowing two unearned run.
In game two, Block earned the start and tossed 6.0 innings. She allowed one run on six hits with four walks and a strikeout. Robles came in to pitch the final inning, pitching a perfect seventh with a strikeout.
Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech conclude the series with the rubber match on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m. at the Lady Techster Softball Complex. Live stats, live video, and in-game tweets (@SouthernMissSB) will be available throughout the game.
Game One Recap - Long Ball Helps Propel Louisiana Tech Past Southern Miss
Louisiana Tech used three solo home runs to jump to a 3-1 lead over Southern Miss and record a 7-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
Southern Miss took the early lead with a run in the top of the first inning. Holifield led off the game with a single off the wall in left center field. Dew walked and Cleary loaded the bases with a single through the right side of the infield. A fielder's choice recorded the first out and left the bases loaded. Evans flew out to right field, scoring Dew on the sacrifice fly and putting the Golden Eagles up 1-0.
The Lady Techsters answered in the bottom of the second inning. Krystal Tutsch hit a solo home run down the right field line to tie the score at 1-1.
In the third, Louisiana Tech used a pair of solo home runs from Pauline Tufi and Taria Page to take the lead at 3-1.
The home team increased their advantage with two runs in the fourth and fifth. In the fourth, a two out double and a passed ball put a runner on third base. Following a walk, Tufi doubled to right center field, scoring two runs. The following inning Louisiana Tech used a walk and a throwing error to place a pair of runners in scoring position. The Lady Techsters used back-to-back sacrifice bunts to score a pair of unearned runs.
The Golden Eagles did not go down without a fight. With one out, A. Pollock delivered a pinch-hit single and Stringer followed with a pinch-hit base hit of her own. With two out, Dew double to left field, scoring A. Pollock and leaving the Black and Gold with a pair of runners in scoring position. The Lady Techsters used a groundout to end the game and claim the 7-2 victory.
Game Two Recap - Holifield Homers Twice as Southern Miss Evens Series
Holifield posted three hits in game two, including a pair of home runs to help Southern Miss cruise to a 6-1 victory.
The Golden Eagles jumped out first in game two, taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Holifield smacked a 2-2 pitch over the center field wall to put the Black and Gold up 1-0. Dew followed with a double and Evans singled through the right side with one out to leave runners at the corners. McKeever hit a ball to second base. Evans alertly stopped and backpedaled, giving McKeever time to reach base safely and Dew time to touch home.
Southern Miss added three runs in the third inning to push the advantage to 5-0. With one out, R. Johnson singled to short. Holifield followed with a single to center field. After pitching change, Dew hit a hard line drive to the shortstop that was ruled an error. Johnson was able to score on the play. Cleary loaded the bases with a single to center field. Evans singled up the middle to score Holifield. The final run came across on a ground out to first base.
Holifield hit her second home run of the game in the fifth inning - a solo shot to center field.
Louisiana Tech prevented the shutout with a solo home run in the sixth inning by Tutsch, but it would be the only run of the game for the home team as Block and Robles closed out the game.