Coming off of its first series sweep of the season against UTSA this past weekend, the Southern Miss softball team (23-16, 8-7 C-USA) added another win to its six-game winning streak against Mississippi Valley State (4-29, 1-10 SWAC) on Wednesday.
In the bottom of the first inning, Destini Brown reached first base on a walk and then second base on a steal. Alyssa Davis later lined out to second base, giving Brown the opportunity to steal third base. Lacey Sumerlin’s sacrifice fly in the inning brought Brown home for the first run of the night.
Southern Miss continued its momentum with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Heather Hill started the inning off with a single to the pitcher and advanced to second on a subsequent error. Pinch runner Caroline Casey later scored after Samantha Papp advanced to third on a sequence of errors. A sacrifice fly from Karley Nichols later in the inning brought Papp home.
After both teams were held scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings, Southern Miss got back on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. A single to left field by Hill allowed Sumerlin to score, giving the Golden Eagles a 4-0 lead.
In the top of the seventh inning, starting pitcher Kaylan Ladner was relieved by Makenna Pierce in the circle. MVSU singled to left field in the inning, allowing two runners to cross home plate. However, Southern Miss held on in the inning for the 4-2 win.
Ladner was credited with the win on the evening, bringing her season record to 4-5. Ladner allowed two runs and six hits after 6.1 innings. Pierce picked up the save in her 0.2 innings pitched, allowing no runs and only one hit.
“I thought that should have been a shutout for her [Ladner] right there, Southern Miss head coach Wendy Hogue said. “If we are not as sloppy on defense I absolutely think it would have been.”
Southern Miss had two errors for the game as well as six hits, with Hill accounting for two of those hits. Sumerlin, Hill and Nichols were responsible for the team’s three RBIs. On the other side, MVSU recorded seven hits and committed four errors.
Hogue talked about her team’s offensive production at the plate against MVSU.
“One thing we have gone to is manufacturing a couple runs early and then we want to open it up, Hogue said. “The problem is, we get those couple runs early and then we are having trouble opening it up.”
Southern Miss will return to Conference USA play by traveling to UAB for a three-game weekend series from April 13-14. UAB currently stands at 15-23 overall and 5-9 in C-USA.