Southern Miss (22-16, 8-7 C-USA) swept conference rival UTSA (17-21) in a three-game home series in Hattiesburg from April 6-7. The sweep marks the first time Southern Miss has swept a conference opponent this season and is the second series win for the team in Conference USA play this season.
“It feels great,” Southern Miss head coach Wendy Hogue said. “Yesterday [Saturday] leaving here I thought wow, that’s a good feeling to get a series win on a Saturday and certainly even better to get the sweep on a Sunday. We were very confident leaving here yesterday, but knew we still had a job to do [on Sunday].”
Southern Miss took Game 1 of the series by a score of 3-0. Following three scoreless innings from both teams to start the game, Southern Miss got on board in the bottom of the fourth inning when centerfielder Destini Brown scored on a UTSA error. The Golden Eagles added their second run in the bottom of the fifth inning after a fielder’s choice allowed Karley Nichols to score.
The Golden Eagles added another solo run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Brown hit a home run to left field, the fourth home run of the season for the sophomore.
Southern Miss pitcher Abby Trahan allowed two UTSA runners to reach base on a single and a walk in the top of the seventh inning but got out of the jam with a game-winning strikeout later in the inning. Trahan pitched a complete game in the contest and struck out nine batters while allowing just three hits.
Brown finished the contest at the plate 2-for-3. Madison Rayner, Lacey Sumerlin, Sarah Van Schaik, Samantha Papp and Nichols also recorded hits against the Roadrunners in the contest.
Southern Miss struck first once again on the scoreboard in Game 2 with a score by Caroline Casey off of a sacrifice fly. The team put two more on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning when Breanna Blankenship scored an unearned run on a Nichols RBI single and Samantha Papp scored on a Nelson sacrifice fly.
UTSA found life on offense in the top of the fifth inning and scored two runs on an RBI single and an RBI double, cutting the Southern Miss lead to 3-2. However, Southern Miss went on a scoring run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Van Schaik hit a two-RBI double that scored Brown and Sumerlin, which was followed by Van Schaik scoring on a throwing error and Nichols scoring on a Nelson RBI single.
The Golden Eagles held UTSA scoreless the rest of the way to take the 8-2 win. The Game 2 win gave the team its second series win of the season.
Nelson, Rayner and Davis all had two-hit games at the plate in Game 2.
On Sunday, Southern Miss took control of Game 3 in the third inning. Nichols scored the first run of the game after an error allowed Madison Rayner to reach base. Later in the inning, Sumerlin hit a sac fly that allowed Brown to score and give the team a 2-0 lead.
In the circle, Trahan allowed her first and only run in the top of the sixth inning on a solo home run by UTSA. However, Southern Miss scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to seal the 4-1 win.
Trahan finished the game by allowing just three hits and recording seven strikeouts. The junior recorded two complete games on the weekend and allowed just six hits and two walks while also recording 16 strikeouts. Trahan’s season win-loss record is now 11-8 following the series.
“I felt real comfortable this weekend,” Trahan said. “I showed up and worked hard this weekend, I think that showed, I just trusted my teammates, trusted myself and my pitch calling.”
The Golden Eagles return to the diamond on Wednesday with a home non-conference matchup against Mississippi Valley State. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.