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Softball wins home series against Gamecocks

Makenna Pierce throws ball to Karley Nichols. Photo by Michael Sandoz.

Southern Miss softball was back in action March 7 and 8 in a series against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. The Golden Eagles won the first two games, but fell in the third.

On Friday, Southern Miss took the win with a 2-1 score in game one. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when the Gamecocks drew first blood, scoring and then loading the bases. Southern Miss was able to end the Gamecocks’s success with a double play. After loading the bases themselves, in the bottom of the fourth, two Lady Eagles were walked in to give Southern Miss the lead.  

Scoring threats from Jacksonville State came again in the fifth, but another impressive display of damage control came when Kayley Fruge caught a line to right field and doubled back to first for Southern Miss’s second timely double play of the game.

“That’s just softball IQ there,” head coach Brian Levin said of the play. “We did a good job of battling out a few jams.”

Southern Miss held on to their lead, but ended the game with only three hits. 

On Saturday, Southern Miss started their first game of a double-header with a bomb by freshman Hannah Borden in the bottom of the first, which hit the left field deck and scored two runs. The Gamecocks took a one-point lead by scoring in the third and fourth innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Borden hit an RBI to tie it up. 

The Golden Eagles broke the gridlock in the bottom of the seventh after Borden singled, hitting Karley Nicholls home. 

“It felt great,” Borden said about the game-winning RBI. “We did a great job of making the adjustment to get hits.”

Following game two’s exciting win, the Lady Eagles struggled to get hits in the last game of the series. With only two hits, the Golden Eagles were unable to score in seven innings and lost to the Gamecocks by three. 

“When we got runners on base, we just were a little too anxious and swinging at balls out of the zone,” Levin said following the loss. “It looked like the strike zone recognition wasn’t good.”

Despite the loss, Southern Miss looked strong in the field and pitching. Third-base woman Allyssa Davis is optimistic about this year’s team.

“I feel great about us,” Davis said. “When we’re just having fun and playing the game we love, there’s nothing that can stop us, and nobody that can beat us.” 

Despite the loss, Davis herself had a few stolen bases and made several good plays, including a pop-out that she snowballed after an impressive reach over the home dugout. 

Next, Southern Miss will play the Mississippi State Bulldogs at home March 11. The Lady Eagles and their head coach are hoping to increase their amount of hits and provide run support for their stellar pitching and fielding staff. 

“I think we were not very disciplined this week,” Levin said. “Just shake off the last loss and prepare for the next game, that’s all we can do.”

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Softball wins home series against Gamecocks