The Southern Miss softball team relied on both offense and defense in their 2-1 midweek win against the South Alabama Jaguars on Wednesday night in Hattiesburg.
After getting swept in their series against conference opponent Louisiana Tech last weekend, the Lady Eagles regrouped and got a win against a 19-win South Alabama squad at home, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process.
“Very proud of this team tonight,” said Head Coach Wendy Hogue. “We’re very excited to get this win for [the fans].”
The team did find offensive success in the early phases of the contest. A Lauren Holifield RBI double in the bottom of the first inning brought Samantha Reynolds home to give the team the 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Heather Hill hit an RBI single that brought Holifield home, giving the Lady Eagles a 2-0 advantage heading into the second inning.
“The plan was to score early, Hogue said. “We wanted to score in that first inning.”
The two runs scored in the first inning would turn out to be the only runs scored in the contest for the Lady Eagles. South Alabama pitcher Destin Vicknair held the team scoreless for the rest of the game and allowed only three hits after the first inning.
South Alabama made things interesting in the top of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Jaguars second baseman Kaleigh Todd scored off of an Amanda Minahan RBI single to cut the Southern Miss lead to 2-1.
Despite allowing the run during the bases-loaded jam in the sixth, starting pitcher Kim Crowson sealed the win for the Lady Eagles by keeping the Jaguars hitless and scoreless in the seventh inning.
“It felt great,” Crowson said. “The girls were behind me 100 percent.”
Crowson, who now owns a 1.50 ERA, retired the first 10 batters she faced in the game. She finished the game with two strikeouts and allowed only five hits.
With a confidence-building win under their belt, the team will look to build on their positive momentum when they face Texas-El Paso this weekend.
“All of us are excited about this weekend,” Crowson said. “We just love to be around each other.”
With the win, the Lady Eagles improve to 14-14 on the season. The three-game series against UTEP starts on Mar. 25 and concludes on Mar. 26 in El Paso, Tx.