After a tough series loss to University of Alabama- Birmingham on March 20, Southern Miss looked to get back on track against nationally ranked No. 23 Florida Atlantic in a three-game series. The Golden Eagles are 1-7 against nationally ranked opponents this season.
In the first inning of game one, sophomore Emily Lochten contributed a single, which brought home both runners to give the Owls an 2-0 lead. FAU homered in the bottom of the fourth inning and scored the last point of the game for both sides, solidifying the win, 3-0.
Conference USA Owl pitcher of the week Kylee Hanson came into the contest recording 23 strikeouts the weekend prior to facing Southern Miss. In the first game on Friday, Hanson pitched a complete-game shutout and recorded 10 strikeouts. Her pitching proved to be worthy of the award as she earned her 13th win of the season against the Golden Eagles.
After a scoreless outing in the first game, Southern Miss rallied back in game two with a three- run inning to claim a 3-2 victory.
Holifield’s double to right field gave the Golden Eagles their first points of the day and their first lead, 2-0. Holifield then managed to advance to third
base and score off of a Bailey Stokes’ sacrifice bunt to give the Golden Eagles an 3-0 lead.
FAU would start a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning but pitching by Southern Miss’ Samantha Robles proved too much as she retired one batter after giving up a home run. Then, a popped fly ball into the infield gave Southern Miss their first win against a ranked opponent this season, 3-2.
On Saturday, Southern Miss looked to be on pace for another scoreless outing as the Golden Eagles did not record a hit or run until the top of the fourth inning. Tori Dew doubled to right center field, ending Kylee Hanson chances of throwing a no-hitter for the day. A Katie Clearly sac bunt would advance Dew’s pinch runner, Arielle Pollock to third with one out in the inning. After advancing Pollock, Lauren Holifield’s sacrifice ball flew to left field to bring home Pollock and tie the game 1-1.
The fourth inning would prove productive for both sides as FAU would not leave the inning without producing runs of its own. Just like Southern Miss’ start to the fourth inning, Emily Lochten doubled to center field. Melissa Martinez singled after that but was able to advance to second as the throw was off by Southern Miss and allowed Lochten to advance home and score. After the score, Tatum Buckley doubled to bring home Martinez and give the Owls a 3-1 lead.
Southern Miss would score one more time but the efforts would not produce enough to claim a victory as FAU won 3-2 and took the series, 2-1.
Southern Miss is set to face Mcneese State Tuesday at home. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.