UTEP Blanks Southern Miss, 2-0, Falls 9-5 in Nightcap
April 18, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Stacie Townsend captured her second shutout victory of the season and the ninth of her career as the UTEP softball team defeated Southern Miss, 2-0, in the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Miners fell 9-5 in the nightcap and move to 22-23 overall and 7-10 in Conference USA.
Townsend improves to 14-14 on the season with the win. The junior hurler fanned seven batters, and scattered four hits, and punched out another three as a relief pitcher in the second game. She held Southern Miss hitless through four innings of play, retiring the side in three of the first four innings. Chelsea Mayer(1-2) received the Game 2 loss.
UTEP outhit USM 21-11 but left 17 runners stranded including four in the top of the seventh in Game 2. The Miners recorded 15 of their shots in the nightcap, scattering multiple hits in every inning but the first and the sixth.
Jennifer Davis added to UTEP's home run tally of 53, lacing a three run long ball, giving her seven for the season. Davis finished the day with two runs on three hits, one home run and three RBIs.
Six Miners connected for UTEP's six hits in the day's opener, including a two bag hit by Becky Smith.
UTEP scored its only two runs in the top of the second as Shea Lodes belted a line drive into the right field gap. Smith followed with a double and the two runners scored off a single by Stalter.
Southern Miss started a one out rally in the bottom of the seventh as Ashley Razey worked Townsend for a walk. Lauren Castellvi hit a short single just left of the pitchers circle to get to first and a strike out later, pinch hitter Brittney Jones loaded the bases with a single into left field. A ground out to short stop ended the threat as the Miners walked away with the 2-0 victory, snapping a five game losing streak.
Southern Miss struck early in the second game of the double dip, as Megan Hill, USM's lead-off, reached on a UTEP error. Casey Matthews made it safe to first, as UTEP tried for an unsuccessful out at second. An out later, Logan James singled to the right side. Trying to stop Hill from going home, UTEP's right fielder, Ashley Ellis over threw, sending Hill home for the unearned run, and Matthews and James made it safely to third and second, respectively.
Matthews scored on a passed ball and James made it home off a ground out to third base to give the Golden Eagles a 3-0 advantage after the first inning.
UTEP banged four hits in the second frame, scoring one run as Stalter knocked in her third RBI of the day off a single up the middle, plating Davis.
After Southern Miss added another three runs in the bottom of the frame, Jennifer Davis cut USM's 6-4 lead when she smashed a two run homer over left field, driving home three runs in the process. The Miners made it a game when Ashley Ellis scored off an RBI-single by Bennett in the top of the fourth.
Southern Miss was relentless in its attack, as a short single by James scored another run for the Eagles in the bottom of the fourth stanza and Kristin Pilgrim knocked a two run dinger in the bottom of the sixth.
Miners had a bases loaded opportunity in the top of the seventh, but it was cut short, as UTEP fell 9-5.
The Miners conclude the series in a single game on Sunday at 12 p.m. They return home for a doubleheader series against Texas Tech on Tuesday at 3 p.m. UTEP's regular home season concludes April 25 and 26 as the Miners take on Tulsa. Seniors Amber Bennett, Jennifer Davis, Shea Lodes and Jennifer Stalter will be honored on the 26th.