March 7, 2014
EL PASO, Texas - The University of Southern Mississippi begins Conference USA play with a three-game road series against UTEP at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex. The Golden Eagles and Miners take the field with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon beginning at 3:00 p.m. (CT). The two teams conclude play with a single game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (CT).
Live stats and in-game tweets (@USMSoftball) will be available throughout the weekend.
Southern Miss enters the weekend with a 6-12 overall record. The Golden Eagles are coming off of a 2-2 performance in the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas. Southern Miss opened the tournament with a 9-0 run-rule victory over Texas Southern, but dropped a 10-2 decision to tournament-host Texas. On day two of the tournament, Texas Southern notched an 8-5 victory over Southern Miss, but the Golden Eagles recorded a come-from-behind win over ULM, 9-8. The final game of the tournament was canceled due to weather.
The Golden Eagles trail the all-time series with the Miners, 10-12-1 (.457). Southern Miss is 6-3-1 (.650) against UTEP in Hattiesburg, but just 4-9 (.308) against the Miners in El Paso. Southern Miss has won five of the last eight meetings between the two teams. The last time the Golden Eagles played the Miners in El Paso, USM closed out the weekend with a 9-8 victory.
Southern Miss enters conference play after a tough non-conference slate. The Golden Eagles played six games against teams currently ranked in the top 10 of the USA Today/NFCA top 25 poll - No. 7 Arizona (3x) and No. 9 Florida State (3x).
Last season, the two teams met twice with the third game being canceled due to weather, splitting the series.
The Miners defeated the Golden Eagles, 10-4, in the first game of a doubleheader on March 24, 2013. Three UTEP players notched two RBI each, while Ashley Collazo knocked in three runs on a 2-for-3 performance. The Miners produced 13 hits.
The Golden Eagles took game two, 4-3 in nine innings. Southern Miss erased a 3-1 lead for the Miners as Michelle Stringer tied the contest with a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Mackenzie Sher hit a bases-loaded sac-fly to center that plated the winning run in extra innings.
Scouting the Opposition:
UTEP enters the weekend with a 7-14 overall record. The Miners have gotten off to an undefeated start (6-0) in the Sun City.
The Miners are coming off a tough nonconference schedule in which they took on six 2013 NCAA Tournament teams, while four of the programs are ranked in the Top 25 this season (No. 9 Nebraska, No. 12 Florida State, No. 10 Arizona, No. 7 Washington, Hawai'i and San Jose State).