SportsSoftballLady Eagles Swept by UAB

Lady Eagles Swept by UAB

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Southern Miss failed to earn a victory in its three-game road series against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, losing Saturday’s doubleheader and the final game on Sunday.

Southern Miss (18-31, 3-18) sits in last place in the Conference USA West division, failing to carry over the momentum from upsetting South Alabama.

In game one, neither team scored in the first inning but the Lady Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second.

Mallory Hayden got it started with a single up the middle. Hayden then advanced to third on a Selena Estrada double to right center field before coming home on a Michelle Stringer RBI single to give the Lady Eagles their first run of the day.

Shelbee Rodgers helped the Lady Eagles add onto the lead with an infield RBI single,
scoring Estrada.

The early cushion did not last long as the Blazers’ bats were warm in the bottom of the second. With two outs, the Lady Eagles gave up a single to Heather Pearson and a walk, allowing the Blazers to put runners in scoring position. Amy Dennis followed with an RBI double, cutting the deficit to just one.

The Blazers tied the game in the bottom of the third with a sacrifice bunt before putting the game away in the fifth and winning 3-2.

In game two, the Blazers used strong innings in the fourth and sixth to defeat the Lady Eagles, 8-2.

Southern Miss took the early lead in the top of the first with Samantha Reynolds getting things going with a single to center field. Arielle Pollock blasted a single down the right field line, allowing Reynolds and Pollock to score and giving the Lady Eagles a 2-0 lead.

After back-to-back bunts, UAB’s Sarah Beth Williamson hit an RBI double to left field, shrinking the USM lead. The Blazers then tied the game on a fielding error by USM.

The Lady Eagle offense laid dormant for the rest of the game. UAB added a run in the bottom of the third and taking the 3-2 lead.

A 45-minute rain delay in the game ensued before the Blazers took control, scoring two runs in the fourth and three runs in the sixth to get the 8-2 victory.

On Sunday, the Lady Eagles used strong pitching and defense to keep the game close, but it was not enough as UAB defeated Southern Miss 5-2 in the series finale.

It was the Blazers who jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning before Southern Miss stood tall defensively behind the pitching of Shelbee Rodgers, who threw four straight shutout innings to limit the Blazers from adding any insurance runs until the sixth inning.

Southern Miss came alive offensively in the top of the fifth when Sarah Evans hit an infield single followed by Reynolds reaching on a fielder’s choice. A Blazer error allowed Kaelyn Christofferson to score, giving the Lady Eagles its first run of the game.

Cleary then singled through the right side of the infield, but Reynolds was thrown out on a play at the plate. Morgan McKeever then walked, advancing Rodgers to second, who came in to pinch-run for Cleary, putting a runner in scoring position.

Estrada delivered and blasted an RBI double to left center field, allowing Rodgers to score and cutting the deficit to 3-2.

Despite a strong fifth inning and stellar pitching from Rodgers, the Blazers added two additional runs in the sixth, giving them the series sweep over the Lady Eagles. Southern Miss finished the afternoon with five hits and two doubles.

The Lady Eagles will end the season on Saturday in a three-game home series against Florida Atlantic at the USM Softball Complex.

Wilton Jacksonhttp://wiltonjackson.wix.com/wiltonjacksonpage
Wilton is a senior broadcast journalism student with a minor in Spanish at the University of Southern Mississippi. He serves as a sports reporter the Printz and HubCityTV. He also writes for other sports publications and serves as the Vice President of Broadcast for the Southern Miss Association of Black Journalists.
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