April 18, 2014
RUSTON - Southern Miss used a four-run fifth inning to post a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Louisiana Tech as the Golden Eagles swept a doubleheader from the Lady Techsters Friday evening at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Tech (16-27, 5-11 C-USA) dropped game one 2-0 as USM (22-23, 10-10 C-USA) used a three-hit shutout from starting pitcher Shelbee Rodgers.
The two teams will conclude the series Saturday with a 2 p.m. single game.
Game 1 (USM 2, LA Tech 0)
Louisiana Tech failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the first three innings and USM pitcher Shelbee Rodgers then retired the final 15 batters of the game as the Golden Eagles won 2-0.
Tech put runners on second base in each of the first three innings but could never record a run scoring hit against Rodgers.
Anna Cross led the game off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kristen Miles. Pauline Tufi then missed a run-scoring double by just inches as her line drive down the left field line was just foul. Rodgers then retired Tufi and Bianca Duran to end the threat.
Tech had another great opportunity in the bottom of the third inning when Tori Charters and Cross both singled to lead the inning off. However, a failed sacrifice bunt attempt started Rodgers impressive string of 15 straight outs.
Tufi started in the circle for Tech and was masterful as well as the freshman retired the first 11 batters of the game. However, USM catcher Mackenzie Sher roped a two-out double in the top of the fourth and then scored on Katie Cleary's flare single over the outstretched glove of Cross at shortstop.
Cross, Charters and Hailey Winter each recorded hits in the loss for Tech.
Tufi (11-8) took the loss, allowing two runs on only five hits and no walks with four strikeouts in 7.0 innings of action.
Game 2 (USM 4, LA Tech 3)
Anna Cross provided the offense early in game two for Louisiana Tech but a variety of defensive lapses by the Tech infield in a four-run fifth cost the Lady Techsters the game.
Bianca Duran kept USM's bats silent through the first four innings, allowing only an infield single in the third by Michelle Stringer.
Tech added onto its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs and no one on base, Charters reached on an infield single and then scored on a two-run home run by Cross over the centerfield fence as Tech led 3-0.
It appeared as though the Lady Techsters had added a fourth run in the inning but a controversial out call at home plate ended the frame. Following Cross' home run, Kristen Miles doubled and then came around on a single by Tufi to left field. However, Miles was called out at home on the play as Tech led 3-0.
USM countered in the top of the fifth inning. Samantha Robles reached on a fielding error by Courtney Lowe and then the Golden Eagles put pressure on the Tech infield with aggressive base running. Two more hits and a fielder's choice ended up plating four runs as the Golden Eagles led 4-3.
Shelbee Rodgers then replaced Robles in the circle, allowing only one hit over the final 3.0 innings to pick up her first save of the year.
Duran (5-16) took the loss, allowing four runs - three earned - on four hits in 4.0 innings of action. Tufi came on in relief and allowed only one walk with two strikeouts over the final 3.0 innings of work.
Tech outhit USM 9-4 led by Cross (2-4, 1 run, 3 RBI), Miles (2-4), Tufi (2-3), Duran (1-3), Charters (2-3).