#22 Jags Softball Defeat Nicholl State 11-7 At Jaguar Field

April 9, 2015 · By · Filed Under Softball 

USA-SoftballThe Jaguar softball team scored 11 runs on 10 hits and scored a run in all but one inning to defeat Nicholls State 11-7 Wednesday evening at Jaguar Field. The win extends USA’s winning streak to seven games and improves their overall record to 28-7 this season.

Senior Farish Beard (6-2) picked up the win after striking out five, walking two and allowing four runs, all earned, on five hits through four innings. Freshman Kalen McGill earned the save, her third of the season, after tossing three innings in relief by striking out seven, issuing no walks and allowing three runs, only one earned, on three hits.

The Colonels took a one run lead in the top of the first inning. A leadoff double allowed a base hit to score the runner from second. But the Jaguars would answer in the bottom half of the inning.

Emily Messer led off the game with a base hit, followed by freshman Kristian Foster drawing a walk to put two Jags on base. Chloe Rathburn supplied an infield single to plate Messer for the Jags first run. Then senior Kaitlyn Griffith hit a two-run double to left center field to score Foster and Rathburn. Blair Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to right center to score Griffith for a 4-1 Jaguar lead through one full inning.

Nicholls State evened the game in the top of the second. A single and walk set up for a two-out two-run double ro right center. Then an RBI single to shallow center field drove in the tying run before Beard could get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the second, Messer earned a one-out walk then stole her 30th career base, which moves her to fifth all-time at South Alabama. Stephanie Pilkington singled to third base and advanced to second on the throw while Messer scored to regain the lead for the Jaguars.

After the Jag settled down defensively and did not allow a run in the third through sixth innings. Though the Jaguar bats kept putting runs on the board with two run per inning in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning to take an 11-4 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Messer singled to third base on a bunt. Then back to back walks to Foster and Pilkington loaded the bases for Rathburn who also walked to score Messer. Griffith flied out to left field to score Kaleigh Todd who pinch ran for Foster.

In the bottom of the fifth, Blair Johnson led off the inning with a home run to right field to increase the Jaguar advantage to 8-4. Amanda Herron would be hit by a pitch followed by Alyssa Linn earning a walk. Messer then reached base on a fielder’s choice where they forced out Gwen Jones, who pinch ran for Herron, at third base. Todd grounded out to shortstop, but Messer and Linn advanced to second and third respectively. Pilkington then walked to load the bases again which prompted a pitching change. After the pitching change Rathburn was walked to score Linn and take a 9-4 lead, but the Colonels would get out of the inning without any more damage when they forced Griffith to fly out to left field for the final out of the inning.

The bottom of the sixth began with Amanda Minahan singling to shortstop and later advancing to second base on a wild pitch. Herron drew a one-out walk to put Jags on first and second, but they would both advance a base on another wild pitch before Taylor Bahos, who pinch hit for Linn, struck out swining. Messer then hit a two-out two-run double to center field to score Minahan and Herron for a 11-4 lead heading into the top of the seventh inning.

The colonels plated three runs in the top of the seventh before McGill retired the final two batters swinging for the save.

Junior third baseman Emily Messer led USA at the plate by going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, three runs scored and extending her hitting streak to seven game. Sophomore Amanda Minahan also went 3-for-4 with a run scored as she reached base for the 11th consecutive game. Senior shortstop Kaitly Griffith and sophomore Chloe Rathburn each had three RBI and a run scored. Senior Blair Johnson had a solo homer and two RBI.

The Jags will host Georgia Southern this weekend at Jaguar Field for a three-game Sun Belt Conference series. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1pm, which is also the scheduled time for the Sunday finale.

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