April 29, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The UAB softball team downed Southern Miss, 4-2, in eight innings in the series finale to sweep the three-game series at the Southern Miss Softball Complex on Sunday.
The Blazers (35-17 and 16-5 C-USA) are the only other C-USA team next to Tulsa that has swept the Golden Eagles (13-30, 4-16)
UAB got on the board in the third inning as Whitney Fletcher smacked a leadoff double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Catherine Crawford. Kayla Orr stroked a base hit to left, scoring Fletcher.
The Golden Eagles countered in the home half of the frame. Two UAB miscues allowed Southern Miss to score two runs and take their first lead of the three-game series, 2-1.
Gabby Luciani reached first on a fielding error by Kate Armstrong. She scored on a single off the bat of Caroline Walker. Leslie LeJune provided the second run after a muffed pickoff attempt at third sent her home.
UAB tied it at two in the next inning. With two outs, Heather Pearson drew a walk and scored from first on Fletcher’s second double of the game.
With the score knotted 2-2 in the seventh inning, Crawford smacked a double to center field and Lowman drew a two-out walk. K. McGrath was safe at first on a dropped-third strike to load the bases. Lauren Webster popped up to third to end the inning, stranding three runners on base.
A costly UAB error in the final frame put USM in position for the win. LeJune hit an infield single to start things off for the Golden Eagles. Britney Dinelt followed up with a fielder’s choice to Webster, who turned to get LeJune out at second, but overthrew Pearson, allowing the runners to advance an extra base. The Blazer defense retired the next three batters to preserve the tie and force extra innings.
“I told the girls, we’ve gotten out of this before. You have to trust yourself and play outstanding defense like you’re capable of doing and I challenged them to get out of them,” UAB head coach Marla Townsend said.
Kate Armstrong took a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for her first home run of the season to break the 2-2 tie in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs, Fletcher ran out an infield single and scored on Crawford’s second double of the game and fourth of the series to give UAB its final 4-2 advantage.
“Kate stepped up to the plate, knowing she made an error earlier in the game that allowed a run to score and she came through with a home run that was awesome,” Townsend said.
UAB starter Leigh Streetman pitched the first four innings and allowed four hits and two unearned runs. Lannah Campbell (13-6) pitched the remaining 4.0 innings and scattered three hits, while striking out five for the win.
Beth Dietrich (7-13) suffered the loss, pitching 5-1 innings of relief for starter Courtney Ramos. Dietrich allowed six hits and three earned runs, while striking out five.
“I’m proud of the team for coming back through adversity,” Townsend said. “I think Lannah pitched us out of some tight spots and gave us momentum going into the eighth.”
UAB returns to the diamond this weekend to wrap up the regular season with a three-game series against Tulsa at the UAB Softball Field. The Blazers and Golden Hurricane will square off in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. The game will be televised on FSN.
The series will conclude with a single game on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. UAB’s six seniors will be honored after the game.