The Southern Miss Golden Eagle softball team (6-8) won two of the three games of their weekend series against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (6-8), 5-4 and 9-6.
Senior Samantha Robles recorded both wins for Southern Miss, pitched a gutsy performance to lead the Golden Eagles to victory on Friday night.
With the Golden Eagles down two runs in the top of the fourth inning and no outs, Robles hit her third batter to load the bases for the Gamecocks.
Despite the poor start, Robles struck out the next three batters on 11 pitches to strand the three Gamecocks runners and swing the momentum back to the Southern Miss dugout.
“Well first thing’s first, I have to credit coach Watkins,” Robles said. “I had given up a couple of two-strike hits and she said, ‘expect more of yourself, expect yourself to be better, you need to be better’ right there, that hit me in the heart a little.”
Southern Miss head coach Wendy Hogue praised her pitchers endurance and no-quit attitude in working out of the fourth inning jam.
“I think that was gutsy,” Hogue said. “That’s a fifth-year senior who wants to win. She knew that those first couple of runs were on her, and then we allow a wild pitch. I just thought that was big.”
The Golden Eagles rode the momentum to a lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating three runs and taking the lead 3-2. Right fielder Ciarra Cherry’s two-run RBI pop fly single fell in between two Gamecocks in shallow right field. They added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held off a strong rally from the Gamecocks in the top of the seventh to record their third consecutive victory.
Senior Golden Eagle pitcher Kim Crowson had a rough outing in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, going only 1.3 innings, allowing five earned runs on four hits and one hit batter.
All five earned runs came in the top of the second inning, which the Golden Eagles never regained from.
Robles again led the way for the Golden Eagles in the rubber match Saturday afternoon. She had two strikeouts in five innings pitched, allowing four runs on five hits. She did not walk any of the 55 batters she faced in games one and three, finishing the weekend series with 11 strikeouts and a 2.85 ERA.
Southern Miss hosts Nicholls State on Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.