Bats go hot and cold during opener
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 00:02
Southern Miss Softball opened their home schedule with a three-day, three-team tournament that paired them against the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State and the Bearkats of Sam Houston State.
After an 11-inning marathon between the Bearkats and Gamecocks Friday afternoon, the Lady Eagles took the field to officially start their home season. The bats of senior Danielle LaPointe and junior Mackenzie Sher led USM to a 7-6 victory over Jacksonville State.
The teams traded runs throughout the contest but LaPointe’s perfect 3-3 day at the plate and Sher’s 3-run double in the fourth proved to be just enough to bring home the win. Kimberly Wagner picked up her second win of the season, and Kaitlin Wilson picked up her first career save.
Saturday saw the Lady Eagles play two games. In the first, Southern Miss invoked the mercy rule against SHSU in six innings winning by a score of 10-1. USM scored six in the top of the sixth to break the game open. Sher was again a big part of the outcome. Her three-run home run capped off the sixth inning and ultimately the game.
Sher’s day was not done, however. With the nightcap tied up in the seventh, Sher stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. What happened next had not been done since the softball program restarted in 1999. The Jacksonville State pitcher served up a pitch that Sher sent far over the center field fence to win 6-2 in walk-off fashion.
Sam Houston threw Shelby Lancaster during Sunday’s final game, and she stifled the once hot Southern Miss bats. Lancaster threw a complete game, two-hit shutout. The Bearkats scored two in the first inning, and that was all Lancaster needed as they cruised to a 3-0 victory to close out the tournament.
Southern Miss finished the tournament with a 3-1 record, which brought their overall record to 5-8. Sam Houston State went 3-2 while Jacksonville State went 1-4. The Lady Eagles will hit the road to face Ole Miss on Wednesday before returning home to host another tournament against Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech next weekend.
Sher, LaPointe, Wilson and freshman infielder Morgan McKeever were named to the All-Tournament team for the Eagles.