The Southern Miss Lady Eagles seniors closed out their final home stand this Saturday, pouring on nine runs in the third and fourth innings of Saturday’s contest, run- ruling the 49ers.
Seniors Tori Dew and Lauren Holifield turned in a series full of fielding gems in route to taking the weekend series against Charlotte, two games to one. The Lady Eagles dropped the second game of a doubleheader on Friday 6-3, but played well throughout all three games, turning strong defensive stands into runs.
“This team is really unique,” Holifield said. “A lot of the teams that you see, they crack under pressure, but our team seems to excel under pressure. The main thing is when we get under pressure, our defense comes in, and we have the feeling that we have to get it done. It’s not an option to make errors.”
Junior pitcher Samantha Robles (8-7) dominated on the mound in every inning she pitched, turning in a complete game one-hitter in game one, including a career game high nine strikeouts. In game three, Robles returned to pitch two innings of solid relief, steering the Lady Eagles to the 9-1 victory. She allowed zero runs throughout the series.
Robles was not the only pitcher to find the strike zone, as senior Danielle Block (3-0) recorded Saturday’s victory, allowing one run on only three hits.
Block provided the swing in momentum that the Lady Eagles would need to finish off the 49ers when she pitched out a one out, runners on the corners situation in the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the third inning, the Lady Eagles would put four runs on the board and never look back.
“I definitely felt like we took control. We did what we had to do defensively,” Block said. “We came right back out and kept the momentum on our side, we started scoring and really broke it open that inning.”
Third-year head coach Wendy Hogue hopes to turn this weekend series victory into a confidence booster to finish off the season.
“We do have a couple of games left and we are gonna continue with the confidence and stick to the plan,” Hogue said. “I love how yesterday the bottom of the lineup did some good things for us, Today the top of the lineup did some good things, so if we can put the top and bottom together, I think we have a pretty good shot next week.”
The Lady Eagles will need consecutive losses from UTSA, Charlotte and UAB if they hope to make the C-USA Tournament on May 10. USM improved to .500 on the season after the series, compiling an overall record of 26- 26, C-USA 9-14. Charlotte ends the series at 26-22, C-USA 8-12 overall.
The Lady Eagles will travel to Hammond, LA to face Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday, and close their season out against Ole Miss in Oxford, MS on Wednesday.