Southern Miss (15-16) took on Mississippi State (24-8) in a doubleheader on Wednesday at the softball complex at Southern Miss. In the first game, things did not go well for the Lady Eagles as they lost the game by the score of 10-0.
MSU quickly took control of the game by jumping out to a 7-0 lead by the end of the third inning. Southern Miss was held without a hit through three innings while MSU had seven hits, two home runs and one triple.
The bats for the Lady Bulldogs stayed hot throughout the game with MSU finishing the first game with ten hits and two doubles.
The Southern Miss pitching staff struggled in the game, giving up ten hits and forcing one strikeout. Shelbee Rodgers (4-6) started the game for the Lady Eagles and finished with three innings pitched, seven hits, six earned runs and walked two batters.
Rodgers was replaced by Danielle Block at the top of the fourth inning to pitch the rest of the game. Block pitched three innings, giving up three hits, one strikeout while giving up two walks and three earned runs.
“I’ve kind of taken a closing pitcher role,” Block said. “We’re just going to keep working until it clicks.”
Lady Bulldog starter Alexis Silkwood (17-6) pitched a complete game no-hitter in the game, with eight strikeouts, throwing 111 pitches and 69 strikes.
Southern Miss finished a combined 0-of-19 at the plate in the first game of the series, looking to get the bats going in the second game.
“The first game certainly didn’t go our way,” said USM manager Wendy Hogue. “They shouldn’t have scored ten, no matter how many innings we play.”
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Lady Eagles did not wait to get on the board.
First, their defense got off to an early start. After a base hit by Caroline Seitz, the Lady Eagles turned a double play to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the first inning, Southern Miss scored its first runs of the evening. Morgan McKeever got a base hit to third base, but a fielding error by the first basemen led to McKeever advancing third. Katie Cleary came home from second to make the score 1-0.
Mississippi State shortly answered in the top of the second inning on a fielding error by McKeever. Amanda Ivy for MSU scored the unearned run to tie the game up at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the second.
Tori Rouse came to bat in the bottom of the second inning for the Lady Eagles with runners at first and second. Rouse singled to right field, bringing in Mallory Hayden from second to give USM a 2-1 lead.
Mississippi State went on a barrage in the fourth inning by scoring six runs. Danielle Block came in to replace Jillian Johnson in the fourth inning, to keep the Lady Bulldogs from scoring but still gave up three runs.
In the inning, Southern Miss hit three batters. On two of the occasions, MSU scored to extend their lead.
Mississippi State got a home run from Julia Echols to extend their lead back to six and keep the game from getting any closer.
Heading into the last inning, Southern Miss was down 10-6. A two-run home run by Ivy put the Lady Bulldogs up 12-6 in the game to end the double header.
The Southern Miss Lady Eagles had a record 1,074 people in attendance for the game, a school record.
“We have glimpses of exactly what we need,” Block said. “We’re just going to keep working until it clicks.”
Southern Miss only had six hits combined in both games against Mississippi State.
Southern Miss will begin a three-game series against UTEP this weekend, starting on Saturday Mar. 28.