Southern Miss drops weekend series against North Texas, 2-1

Heather Hill prepares in the infield against Marshall on April 2 at the Softball Complex.

Southern Miss (20-21, 5-10 C-USA) traveled to Denton, TX to take on conference opponent North Texas (21-17, 8-7 C-USA)  in a three-game weekend series, overall losing 2-1.

Saturday’s contest would be a doubleheader resulting in each team taking home a 4-1 victory.

In game one, Southern Miss would score first in the top of the third inning. North Texas third baseman Keli Schkade answered back in the bottom of the fourth inning with a leadoff home run, 1-1. The next four innings would go scoreless for both sides until freshman Hanna Rebar recorded a walk-off three-RBI home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim the win for North Texas, 4-1.

Pitching would be the biggest change for Southern Miss in game two. Kim Crowson faced 32 batters in game one and allowed four runs off of four hits, with two hits being home runs. Samantha Robles took the mound in game two, facing 29 batters and limiting North Texas’ chances of making big plays. Robles threw 67 pitches with 52 of them being strikes recording one run off of six hits. But with only one strikeout recorded, she limited North Texas to only two extra base hits.

Robles’ ability to limit North Texas’ chances on offense translated to Southern Miss’ offense gaining opportunities to put runs on the board. In the top of the second, Southern Miss tied the game 1-1 then proceeded to add two more runs in the top of the third, giving the Golden Eagles a 3-1 lead. Both sides would once again have four scoreless innings until freshman Chase Nelson delivered her first solo career home run in the top of the seventh inning to solidify Southern Miss’ win, 4-1.

In game three, scoring would be no stranger to either side. After North Texas tied the game 2-2 in the third inning, Southern Miss answered in the top of the fifth with a four-run inning. After a walk and a single, Lauren Holifield singled to center field and brought home Samantha Reynolds for the 3-2 score. After a pitching change for North Texas, Caitlyn Aldous would deliver a two-RBI double to right center, 5-2. Southern Miss would collect one more run and end the innings with four runs off of four hits, 6-2.

This four-run inning would not break the spirit of North Texas as they tallied six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The first three batters of the order would make it on base by way of a walk and two doubles, 6-3. Southern Miss would then pull Robles from the contest and bring in Crowson. Crowson would record a strikeout but then record a walk and hit a batter. With a bases loaded situation, Li Gregory recorded a RBI-single to right field, 6-4. North Texas would record three more RBI-singles and two unearned runs, one fielder’s choice and an error, ending the inning tallying six runs off of five hits and solidifying the victory, 9-6.

Southern Miss looks to regain their momentum Tuesday against Jackson State at home. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.