Jaguar Softball and Baseball Have Successful Weekends

March 23, 2015 · By · Filed Under Baseball, Softball, Sun Belt Conference 

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Softball

The University of South Alabama Jaguar softball team completed a three-game sweep of conference foe Appalachian State over the weekend to improve their record to 21-6 overall and 5-3 in Sun Belt Conference play.

In the first game of the series, the Jags put three runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead. Emily Messer got it started by getting on base on a Mountaineer fielding error. She was followed by Stephanie Pilkington who singled then stole second one batter later. Chloe Rathburn hit a double to left center field to put the Jags up 2-0. Blair Johnson then hit a two-out single to right center field for the third run of the inning.

In the top of the fifth inning the Mountaineer finally got on the board due to a fielding error by the Jaguars. But in the bottom half of the inning the Jags responded with another three-run burst.

Haleigh Lowe started it off with a one-out walk followed by back-to-back singles by Messer and Amanda Minahan. Pilkington then delivered a three-run double.

Farish Beard would retire the Mountaineer batters in order in the sixth and seventh innings for her third win of the year. Additionally, over the last 20 innings she has struck out 28 batters to three walks and one earned run on eight hits.

In game two the Mountaineer was not going to go down without a fight.

In the top of the first inning, Appalachian State took a 2-0 lead on a two-run homer to right field.

The Jags would cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second inning. Lowe earned a lead-off walk then would score on Kaleigh Todd’s single.

After the second inning, the Jags could only manage a hit and a walk until the bottom of the sixth inning when Kaitlyn Griffith singled. Lowe would put down a sacrifice bunt to move Griffith to second, followed by Griffith stealing third but she would be stranded there after a pair of pop-ups ended the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Jags started their comeback effor again. Alyssa Linn came off the bench to deliver a single through the right side. Pilkington then got on base with a bunt single after two infielders collided after fielding the ball. Rathburn would fly out next.

Then Blair Johnson stepped up and delivered a two-run triple down the right field line giving the Jags a 3-2 walk-off victory. The triple was Johnson’s eighth of her career, which is second-most in program history. She also moved to fourth all-time in games played at USA (195). Kaitlyn Griffith is currently seventh with 184 games played.

On Saturday, Pilkington was 3-for-7 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Amanda Herron had a pair of doubles. Emily Messer and Haleigh Lowe both scored two runs each.

In the finale on Sunday, the Jags used a five-run first inning and a three-run fifth inning to earn an 8-0 run-rule victory over the Mountianeer.

Beard earned her fourth win of the year in as many appearances since her return a week ago. She struck out five and walked two and carried a no-hitter into the top of the fourth inning before the Mountaineer earned two hits off of her. She then retired six of the final seven batters she faced.

On Sunday, Lowe finished 2-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored. Kaitlyn Griffith and Chloe Rathburn both had an RBI and a run scored each. Emily Messer was 1-for-1 with two walks and a run scored.

The Jags will travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU, the #1 team in the nation, on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 6pm.

Baseball

The Jaguar baseball team took two out of three from Texas State over the weekend at Eddie Stanky Field.

The Jags opened with a 7-1 win on Friday night behind Kevin Hill’s eight scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts. Hill only allowed two hits in eight innings for his second win of the season. Eight Jaguar starters recorded at least one hit in the game with Ballew finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Gleason went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Cole Billingsley added two hits, two runs scored and three stolen bases. Bud Collura finished with two hits, an RBI and one run scored.

In game two on Saturday, Jaguar Ben Gann’s bases-loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted the Jaguars to a 2-1 series-clinching win.

The Jags loaded the bases with one out in the 11th on consecutive singled by Danny Martinez and Cole Gleason then a walk by Jason Cryar. Gann then lifted the first pitch he saw to shallow right field to score Martinez.

In the series finale on Sunday, the Bobcats used a four-run eighth inning to stave off a three-game sweep. The Jags (15-9, 5-4 SBC) attempted a rally in the bottom of the ninth, but stranded the tying run in scoring position when the game ended.

Texas State (10-12-1, 6-3 SBC) earned the 8-7 win to avoid the sweep.

The Jags will host the University of Alabama at Eddie Stanky Field with first pitch scheduled for 6:30pm on Tuesday.

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