After a span of four straight non-conference games against Auburn and Troy, the Southern Miss Softball team (11-20, 1-5 C-USA) returned to conference play against the Marshall Thundering Herd (12-13-1, 4-1-1 C-USA) on Mar. 17 and 18, with Marshall winning all three games against the Golden Eagles.
In the first two games of the series on Mar. 17, the Golden Eagles struggled against the Marshall lineup. Marshall took the 7-2 win in the first game after recording 10 hits and getting out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The Golden Eagles narrowed the Marshall lead by scoring one run in the top of the second inning, but Marshall held the team to just one more run for the rest of the game to seal the victory.
Samantha Robles took the loss in the circle for the Golden Eagles in game one. Robles allowed seven runs and struck out four battles in five innings of work.
Marshall’s offense started off hot in game two of the series. The Thundering Herd scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, then added two more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Southern Miss would get on the board in the game on a two-run home run by Samantha Papp in the top of the fifth inning. Ciara Cherry would add another run for the team in the top of the sixth inning when she hit a solo home run, her second home run this season.
In game three of the series on Mar. 18, the two teams started off the contest with two scoreless innings. Marshall took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, then added three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 4-0 lead over the Golden Eagles. Southern Miss avoided the shutout after a run scored off of a Rebekah DiLavore RBI single in the top of the seventh inning, but Marshall ended the inning soon afterwards to secure the 4-1 win and series sweep.
DiLavore finished the game with two hits in three at bats. Papp, Cherry and Caitlyn Aldous also recorded hits for the Golden Eagles in the contest.
The Golden Eagles will look to bounce back from the sweep when they take on conference opponent UTEP in a three-game home series from Mar. 24-25. First pitch for game one of the series is set for 1 p.m. at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.