Softball Returns Home to Host In-State Rival Ole Miss
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss softball team returns home to the Southern Miss Softball Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 24, as the Golden Eagles play host to in-state rival Ole Miss. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday's games will serve as Blackout Games and all fans are encouraged to wear black. Additionally, the first 100 fans will receive a free Southern Miss hat.
The Last Meeting
April 15, 2015
Southern Miss enters the midweek twin bill with a 6-5 overall record, including a 2-0 mark at home. Ole Miss travels to Hattiesburg with an 8-2 overall record.
The Golden Eagles return to the field after finishing the Mardi Gras Invitational 2-2 in Mobile, Ala. Southern Miss opened the tournament with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Samford, before dropping a game to Mississippi State (L, 6-0). The Black and Gold posted another come-from-behind win, taking down SIU-Edwardsville, 3-2. In the finale, the Golden Eagles dropped a 10-2 decision in six innings to tournament-host No. 23 South Alabama.
The Rebels enter the midweek after going 4-1 in a pair of tournaments, including most recently at the Troy Classic in Troy, Ala. After falling in the opening game to McNeese State (L, 2-1), Ole Miss posted four consecutive wins, defeating tournament-host Troy (W, 6-1), Tennessee Tech (W, 8-5), and Eastern Illinois twice (W, 4-2; W, 8-0 (5)).
Ole Miss holds a 19-10 (.655) overall lead in the all-time series. The two teams have met 10 times in Hattiesburg with the Rebels owing a 7-3 (.700) advantage in the Hub City. The Black and Gold won five of the first seven games in the series. Last season, the Golden Eagles traveled to Oxford for a pair of games that the Rebels claimed.
The last win for Southern Miss in the series came in 2013 as the Golden Eagles notched a 7-4 victory in Oxford. In that game, Caroline Walker and Morgan McKeever each finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI apiece. Walker scored three runs, while also doubling. Kimberly Wagner earned the victory going 6.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Beth Dietrich recorded a one-out save, retiring the only batter she faced. Current Golden Eagle Sarah Evans finished the game 1-for-2 with a run, a RBI, and two walks. Michelle Stringer and former catcher and current assistant coach Mackenzie Sher also played in the victory.
The last time the Golden Eagles defeated the Rebels in Hattiesburg was in 2004. Auriel Jenkins hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to help lift Southern Miss to a 6-5 win over Ole Miss.
Since the last win in Hattiesburg, Southern Miss won three games in Oxford, including the 2013 game, and one at a neutral site played in Ridgeland, Miss.
The Golden Eagles carry a .268 team batting average into the doubleheader, led by a .480 clip from Rachel Johnson. She's the team's leading hitter with 12 hits, followed by 11 hits each from Katie Cleary and McKeever. Cleary leads the club with 13 RBI, while Tori Dew is third with eight.
Samantha Robles has anchored the Southern Miss pitching staff, having thrown in 43.0 of the 71.2 total innings on the year. She's 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts and four complete games. Robles has allowed 19 earned runs and struck out 25 hitters with a .281 batting average against. Danielle Block has thrown 16.2 innings of work and has a 5.46 ERA with a 1-1 record in six appearances. As a unit the pitching staff has a team ERA of 4.30 with a .326 opposing batting average.