April 17, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi softball team travels to Ruston, La. for a three-game Conference USA series with long-time rival Louisiana Tech. The games mark the first time the two teams will meet as C-USA opponents.
The series will begin on Friday evening with a doubleheader slated for 5:00 p.m. at the Lady Techster Softball Complex. The finale of the series is set for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Live stats and in-game tweets (@USMSoftball) will be available throughout the weekend.
The Last Meeting
February 24, 2013
The two teams have met 28 times in program history with each team earning 14 wins. Southern Miss is 10-4 in Hattiesburg, but 0-6 in games played in Ruston. In addition, the Golden Eagles and Lady Techsters have met eight times at a neutral site with the two teams splitting the results. The Black and Gold have won 12 of the last 17 meetings between the two teams, including a pair of games last season in the Southern Miss Black and Gold Classic.
Southern Miss enters the weekend with a 20-23 overall record, including an 8-10 clip in conference play. The Golden Eagles have recorded 20 wins in a season for the first time since notching 25 victories in 2010. In addition, USM has posted eight wins in Conference USA play for the first time since 2009 (10 C-USA wins).
Louisiana Tech heads into the weekend with a 16-25 overall record and a 5-9 mark in the league. After a 0-6 start to Conference USA play, Tech has won five of its last eight C-USA games. The Lady Techsters enter the weekend on a three-game winning streak, notching road victories against North Texas, Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin.
The weekend series is crucial as the Conference USA regular season gets closer to an end. This season, eight of the 13 teams in the league will advance to the Conference USA Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., hosted by Florida Atlantic.
The Golden Eagles are currently ninth in the overall C-USA standings with two weekend series to play, but are just two games back in the win column from fifth place. In addition to playing at Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss will also host FIU in the final weekend of the regular season. The Black and Gold are a fraction of a percentage point behind UTSA and UTEP for the final spot in the tournament. Both the Roadrunners and Miners each have three conference series remaining this season.
TWEETABLE (News and notes in 140 characters or less)
Shelbee Rodgers ranks 5th in a season in strikeouts (155) and tied for 10th in a season for wins (14) in Southern Miss history. #Records
Shelbee Rodgers leads team with 155 strikeouts - the most by a Golden Eagle pitcher since Lacey Gros posted 190 Ks in 2006. #KCount
Mackenzie Sher's double vs. UAB gave her 10 on season - first time in her career with double-digit doubles in a season. #DoubleUp
Following the trip to Greenville, N.C., Southern Miss has traveled 12,645 miles total miles - 3,645 by plane; 9,000 by bus. #RoadWarriors
Sarah Evans has 4 triples in 2014, tying for 6th in a season. She is one triple shy of tying for first place in a year. #ThreeBagger
Morgan McKeever is one of four players to play in every game this season and one of just two players to start all 43 games. #EverydayStarter
Katie Cleary leads the team with 14 doubles. Fourteen doubles is seven times as many as she had all last season. #Improvement
Mackenzie Sher leads team with 8 HR. For her career, Sher has 22, which ranks 4th in school history. She is 7 HR shy of third. #MackSmack
The Southern Miss offense has tallied 76 extra base hits, including 50 doubles, 10 triples and 16 home runs. #Production
With 10 regular season games left, Southern Miss has more overall wins (20) and Conference USA wins (8) than all last season. #Improvement