April 16, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss will take on a pair of in-state softball foes this week when they host Mississippi State on Tuesday in Hattiesburg before hitting the road to Itta Bena, Miss., on Wednesday to take on Mississippi Valley State.
The Golden Eagles took on the Delta Devilettes earlier this season as part of the Gold Pub and Grill Classic but it was the visitors that came away with a 6-1 victory.
Over the weekend, the Golden Eagles (12-24) dropped a pair of games to South Alabama but will look to return a number of players to the lineup and have a healthier squad when they host the Bulldogs on Tuesday.
Southern Miss is 12-30 all-time against Mississippi State (25-19) including a 14-4 victory over the Bulldogs last season and is 3-2 lifetime against Valley (23-17). To better those marks, the Golden Eagle pitching staff will need to cool down the hot-hitting bats for both squads.
Mississippi State enters the contest hitting .293 as a team with 30 homeruns, 13 off the bat of Jessica Cooley, 10 triples and 42 doubles. Brittany Bell leads the team with a .398 batting average (45x113) while Stephanie Becker and Kylie Vry have combined for 216 strikeouts in 241.2 innings of work in the circle.
Wednesday's opponent, MVSU, sports a .280 team batting average led by Alexa Sullivan (.366) and Xiomara Perez (.322). In the circle, Alicia Lorenz and Kimberly Spivey have carried most of the innings for the team with 207 innings of combined work and 196 strikeouts.
Caroline Walker and Leslie LeJune continue to lead the Eagles at the plate for the season, but it has been the bats of Brittany Lilly and Carissa Turang over the last 10 games to carry the team offensively. Turang is hitting .286 (8x28) while Lilly is connecting at a .231 (6x26) over the previous ten.
Tuesday's home game against Mississippi State is set for 6 p.m. and will be the annual "BLACKOUT" game for Southern Miss as all fans are encouraged to wear black to the Southern Miss Softball Complex. Wednesday's road matchup in Itta Bena is set for a 5 p.m. first pitch.