April 27, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss will host Conference USA foe UAB this weekend in a three-game set for their final home conference series of the season at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
Saturday's doubleheader will be Military Appreciation Day at the park and Sunday will be Senior Day, where six Golden Eagle seniors will be honored following the game. On Saturday, members of the armed forces and their families can purchase tickets for $2 and barbeque will be provided for the first 50 military members in attendance in the left field lounge area.
Both days are set for a 1 p.m. first pitch.
UAB (32-17, 13-5 C-USA) comes to Hattiesburg in the thick of the race for the C-USA Regular Season championship. Trailing leader Tulsa by a game in the conference race, the Blazers are led by a powerful offense that ranks fourth in the conference in team batting average (.287) and second in pitching ERA (2.20).
The Blazers have a lineup of five players that have played in at least 48 of the team's 49 games and all hit above 300, with Mandy Lowman leading the way at .381. UAB's top three batters, Lowman, Kayla Orr and Kristen McGrath, have combined to hit 28 home runs this season with 94 RBI.
In the circle, three Blazer pitchers have worked nearly equal time while Amber Torres and Lannah Campbell boast ERAs under 2.00, 1.04 and 1.79, respectively.
Southern Miss (13-27, 4-13 C-USA) is coming off a midweek split that saw the Golden Eagles travel to Alcorn State for a 10-2 victory over the Lady Braves. The Golden Eagles returned to Hattiesburg for a Wednesday showdown with Mississippi State where they fell 1-0 but came away with a productive outing from pitcher Gabby Luciani.
Luciani, in her first outing since April 7, struck out six Bulldogs and gave up just the one run.
In their own race in the conference standings, the Golden Eagles have the eighth and final seed for the conference tournament and could potentially lock up the bid this weekend.
At the plate, senior Britney Dinelt and sophomore Mackenzie Sher have come on over the past week to hit .308 and .444, respectively, and do their part to get Southern Miss out of a hitting slump. The pitching staff has also allowed just five earned runs over the past 24 innings and opponents are hitting a slim .193 against the staff in that span.
Following Sunday's game, Dinelt, Leslie LeJune, Courtney Ramos, Chanell Thurman, Stephanie Shiflet and Luciani will be honored for their contributions to the program in their final C-USA home game.