Southern Miss (18-18, 4-8 C-USA) hosted Marshall (27-5, 11-1 C-USA) this weekend, halting Marshall’s 17-game winning streak but losing the series 2-1.
“Conference USA is a tough conference — anybody can beat anybody on any day,” said Head Coach Wendy Hogue. “There have been a ton of close games.”
Saturday’s doubleheader would result in both sides taking home shutout victories. Marshall would take game one, 5-0 and Southern Miss would claim game two, 8-0.
In game one, Southern Miss’ lack of early offense would be detrimental. The Golden Eagles would record their first hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. By the time Southern Miss recorded a hit, Marshall recorded four hits and held a 2-0 lead. The Golden Eagles never found their rhythm as they recorded only three hits for the entire game compared to Marshall’s nine.
Pitching would play big in game one as well. Marshall’s ace, Jordan Dixon, would record eight strikeouts on the night compared to Southern Miss’ Kim Crowson and Jade Lewis who only recorded two. Finding the strike zone would be big for Dixon as she recorded three consecutive three-and-out innings.
Game two would be a complete turnaround for the Golden Eagles offense.
“We had to take one from Marshall this weekend,” Hogue said. “You’ve got to at least take one on Saturday to give yourself an opportunity on Sunday.”
The fifth inning would be the most productive inning for USM in the weekend series. Southern Miss held a 1-0 lead from the first inning and would push their lead to eight quickly. Eleven different Golden Eagles would have an at-bat, collectively tallying seven runs on four hits. The explosive inning would cause the game to be cut short due to the NCAA’s run rule, winning 8-0.
“It was very critical for us to take one game this weekend.” Hogue said. “If you are going to drop one you better lose to someone in front of you and not behind you.”
Sunday’s contest would keep the series routine alive of one team having an offensive explosion in one inning or catching that one break to steal the victory.
In the top of the fifth inning, Marshall’s Madi Marshall kicked off the Thundering Herd offense with a single to left field. Marshall’s single would become contagious as the next three at-bats would result in Marshall recording three runs off of two RBI-singles and a sac fly RBI, 3-0. This one inning would be the only scoring that would occur in this contest, capturing the series 2-1 for Marshall.
Southern Miss looks to push above .500 this Tuesday against Mississippi Valley State at home. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.