Troy Too Much for Lady Eagles
The Southern Miss softball team dropped both games in a doubleheader Tuesday against the Troy Trojans. The first game of the day was a 4-2 defeat, followed by a 3-1 defeat at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
In game one, The Lady Eagles got on the board first. Morgan McKeever led off for Southern Miss and singled to left field to reach first base. McKeever advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Samantha Reynolds.
With one out and a runner on second, Sarah Evans stepped up to the plate and hit a single to left field to move McKeever to third. Center fielder Katie Cleary was next in the batting order and singled to left field to bring McKeever home and give Southern Miss an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
The Lady Trojans caught fire from the plate in the third inning, hitting back-to-back home runs. Kate Benton led off for Troy and singled to left field to reach first base. Hannah Day stepped up to the plate and reached first base on a fielder’s choice. Benton was thrown out as she rounded second base and tried to reach third.
Becca Hartley was responsible for the first home run; she faced a 2-1 count when she got a pitch right down the middle. She made contact and from the moment it left her bat, there was no question the ball was going over the complex walls. The home run brought Day home as well and gave the Lady Trojans a 2-1 lead.
Ashley Rainey followed with a solo home run, her sixth of the season, over the center field wall to increase the lead to 3-1.
The Lady Eagles struggled to produce anything at the plate and Troy took advantage of that in the top of the fifth inning. Benton led off for Troy and reached first base on a bunt. Benton then stole second on the next pitch and reached third base on a Day ground out. Although Hartley flied out to center field, Benton was able to reach home and push the lead to 4-1.
The Lady Eagles answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Emily Wood entered the game as a pinch hitter, drawing a walk and allowing Shelbee Rodgers to cut the lead in half, 4-2.
That was as close as the Lady Eagles would get to Troy in game one as the Lady Trojans closed out the game with three straight outs giving Southern Miss the 4-2 loss.
Just like game one in the final game of the double header, the Lady Eagles were the first team to get on the board. Southern Miss broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning.
With one out, Kaelyn Christofferson singled to shortstop and made it all the way to third on two throwing errors. Two batters later, Reynolds stepped up to the plate and singled up the middle to score Christofferson and give Southern Miss a 1-0 lead entering the sixth inning.
Troy answered back in the sixth when Day tied the game with her fifth home run of the season. The Lady Trojans secured the sweep when Michelle Phelps hit a two-run home run that gave Troy a 3-1 victory.
At the plate for Southern Miss, Christofferson, Cleary and Evans finished with a pair of hits. Mallory Hayden, Samantha Reynolds, McKeever and Danielle Block all finished with one hit, giving the Lady Eagles 10 total hits on the day.
On the mound, Block gave up five hits finished with three strike outs and walked three batters in game one. In game two, Rodgers was called to the mound, and she finished the game allowing nine hits and walking two while striking out six.
The Lady Eagles (16-21, 2-10 Conference USA) will return to the diamond on Saturday, when they face off against Western Kentucky on the road in a doubleheader.