USM secures first series sweep since ’11
For the first time since 2011, Southern Miss (23-23, 9-8) swept a Conference USA opponent in a season series. North Texas (20-23) came to Hattiesburg having lost four out of their last five contests.
After not having a reputation of being an offensive juggernaut, the Golden Eagles came into the contest looking to make their statement on defense. That defense was led by the pitching of Samantha Robles and Danielle Block, who limited the Mean Green to just two runs in three games.
Robles led the way, shutting out the Mean Green in game one by only giving up four hits and striking out seven batters. For the rest of the team, Robles’ leadership on the mound gave way to a productive outing for Southern Miss.
Both teams headed into the third inning tied at zero. But, led by a Tori Dew single to center field, USM scored four runs in only the bottom of the third inning. Robles finished the Mean Green off by pitching her complete game shutout.
The game two doubleheader went just as game one, as Block took her turn and also pitched a shutout. She gave up three hits and struck out three batters in her seven innings of work.
The Golden Eagles garnered three hits in the fifth inning, scoring one run on a Kaelyn Christofferson single to bring in Arielle Pollock for the score.
In the next inning, a Sarah Evans home run would bring home both Samantha Reynolds and Evans to put up an additional two runs, giving the Golden Eagles a 3-0 victory.
In game three, North Texas came out and matched the early lead that Southern Miss put up in the first inning. The game remained tied at 2-2 through to the sixth inning, where USM had a rare occurrence on the diamond.
Rachel Johnson singled down the right field line, and Tori Dew stepped up to bat. After a Dew single gave Johnson an opportunity to advance to second, she took third base instead looking to score. With two outs at that moment and the game possibly on the line for USM, Johnson did the unthinkable and stole home successfully.
The game three victory gave Southern Miss its first C-USA series sweep since 2011 at home versus UT-San Antonio.
Southern Miss will travel to Starkville, Mississippi to play the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.