Lady Eagles fall to Bulldogs, 3-2

The infield prepares for a pitch against Mississippi State on Mar. 28 at the USM Softball Complex.

The Southern Miss Softball team blew a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning of their midweek contest against in-state rival Mississippi State, losing by a score of 3-2 at the Southern Miss Softball Complex on Tuesday night. 

“Offensively and defensively, we looked like the better team through six innings,” said Head Coach Wendy Hogue. “They won the seventh inning.”

Defense was a big factor for both teams in the first three innings. Southern Miss pitcher Kim Crowson and Mississippi State starter Alexis Silkwood kept both sides scoreless over that span.

The Lady Eagles would get on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the fourth inning with Jade Lewis hitting a solo home run to left field to give the team a 1-0 advantage. Selena Estrada would score in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the score at 2-0 for the Lady Eagles.

With Southern Miss leading 2-0 in heading into the seventh inning, the momentum started to shift in Mississippi State’s favor. During a bases-loaded situation in the seventh, Bulldogs catcher Calyn Adams was walked by Crowson, which brought Amanda Ivy home, cutting the Southern Miss lead to 2-1.

After Crowson was replaced by Samantha Robles on the mound for the Lady Eagles, a single by Mississippi State’s Reggie Harrison allowed Bevia Robinson and Kat Moore to score, putting the Bulldog lead at 3-2.

Mississippi State relief pitcher Cassady Knudsen struck out three straight Southern Miss batters in the bottom of the seventh to seal the come-from-behind win for the Bulldogs.

“I thought we shot ourselves in the foot,” Hogue said. “They get the W, we’re stuck with the L.”

Crowson, who was credited with the loss, now stands at 6-6 on the season, allowing four hits and five walks on the night against the Bulldogs. Despite allowing three runs, she lowered her earned run average from 1.80 to 1.65 in the contest.

After the close loss, Hogue stressed the importance of confidence to her team.

“Walk away with your heads up, confident,” Hogue said. “We can’t let it affect the rest of the season.”

With the loss, the Lady Eagles fall to 16-16 on the season. The team will travel to Jackson on Mar. 29 to face Jackson State, then will return to Hattiesburg for a weekend-conference series against Marshall. The series will begin on Apr. 1 with a doubleheader and end the next day on Apr. 2.