Lady Eagles split double header with Troy

Lady Eagles split double header with Troy

Katie Cleary began the inning with an RBI single to left field at the doubleheader matchup against Troy University this weekend.  Courtesy Photo

Katie Cleary began the inning with an RBI single to left field at the doubleheader matchup against Troy University this weekend.
Courtesy Photo

After defeating the University of Texas at San Antonio 4-1, The University of Southern Mississippi softball team turned their attention to their doubleheader matchup against Troy University on Tuesday afternoon.
A strong fourth inning paved the way for the Lady Eagles’ victory as they defeated Troy, 6-4 in game one of the doubleheader Tuesday evening at Troy Softball Complex.

The Trojans struck first, using a leadoff single and sacrifice bunt to put a base runner in scoring position in the first inning. After the next batter walked, Southern Miss received its second out on an infield fly to first base. However, a single to right field plated two to put Troy ahead 2-0.

In the third inning, the Trojans expanded their lead to 4-0 on a one-out single to score the runner on third. Back-to-back RBI singles along with an error led to Troy’s ability to increase the lead.

In the fourth inning, the Lady Eagles responded in a huge way, scoring five runs on four hits to take the lead. Katie Cleary began the inning with an RBI single to left field. After a passed ball, Cleary advanced to second base before Arielle Pollock blasted a triple down the right field line, allowing Cleary to score.

Michelle Stringer then reached base on a fielding error, allowing Pollock to score. Then, Taylor Beck capitalized on a pinch-hit single off the chest off of the third basemen for Troy, sending Nelson to home plate while she advanced to second base. With runners on second and third, Morgan McKeever hit a two RBI single to right field to give Southern Miss a 5-4 lead.

In the fifth, at the top of the inning, Cleary hit an RBI double to center field and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Sarah Evans scored Cleary on an infield single, increasing the lead to 6-4.

Although the Trojans attempted to cut into the lead during the seventh inning, Rachel Johnson made a deep left field catch off of the Trojan batter to win the game for the Lady Eagles.

Game two of the double header had a much different feel to it as the game went to extra innings. Up 6-2 going into the final frame, the Trojans were three outs away from sealing the deal and splitting the double header.

However, with Troy starter Sarah Thomas out of the game, Southern Miss was finally able to get their bats going against Troy’s relievers Meg Willis and Sara Mock. Thanks in large part to a two RBI single from Mackenzie Sher, the Lady Eagles were able to knot the game up at six.

With the bases loaded and just one out, Southern Miss had the opportunity to pull ahead going into the bottom of the seventh with the chance to win the game. However, Arielle Pollock struck out swinging as did Sarah Evans, who led off the inning with a double.

In the bottom of the eighth, Troy pinch hitter Heather Johnston hit a walk-off RBI single. Troy improved to 16-22-2 while Southern Miss fell to 19-18 for the season.

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