Jag Baseball And Softball Win Weekend Sun Belt Series

May 4, 2015 · By · Filed Under Baseball, Softball, Sun Belt Conference 

newjagsmallBoth Jaguars Baseball and Softball teams had successful weekends on the diamond. Below are highlights of the weekend.

Softball

The #22 ranked Jaguar softball team took two of three games from Troy over the weekend to clinch their final series of the regular season.

In game one, the Trojans scored five unanswered runs, including a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, to win 6-3.

USA took a two run lead in the top of the second inning. Chloe Rathburn scored when senior Blair Johnson doubled to right center and a subsequent throwing error in a throwout attempt at the plate. Johnson would later score when freshman Haleigh Lowe’s infield single.

The Trojans halved the Jaguar lead when she scored on Farish Beard’s wild pitch.

USA added another run to take a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a squeeze play off the bat of senior first baseman Amanda Herron which scored senior Gwen Jones, who pinch ran for Rathburn.

However, four runs in the bottom half of the fourth would put Troy ahead.

Beard suffered the loss to fall to 9-4 on the season after giving up five run, all earned, on seven hits with a walk in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Freshman righty Devin Brown threw 2 1/3 innings of relief allowing one run on one hit with a walk and five strikeouts.

Johnson led the Jaguars at the plate by going 2-of-3 with one run scored. Rathburn went 1-of-2 with a run scored as well.

In game two, the Jaguars stranded three base runners in the first two innings then went down in order in the next three innings. But Troy did not fare any better as only one player reached base in their first five innings facing the Jags pitching.

In the bottom of the sixth, Troy’s Heather Johnson led off the inning with a single through the left side, which was followed by Kayler reaching base on a bunt single, but Johnson was thrown out trying to stretch and make it to third base. Benton followed with a single up the middle but she would be thrown out at the plate by Amanda Minahan later in the innign on Becca hartley’s base hit to center field. McGill forced a groundout for the final out of the innings the Jags got out of the inning unscathed.

Rathburn led off the top of the seventh with a double off the left field wall. Kaitlyn Griffith then smashed the go-ahead two-run homer, her 12th of the season and a new South Alabama season record.

McGill retired the Trojans in order to finish off the game.

In the third game on Sunday, Troy would take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after Kate Benton led off the game with an infield single. She could eventually score on a play in which Emily Messer overthrew Amanda Herron at first allowing the ball to go down the right field line.

USA would tie the game in the top of the second after Griffith drew a leadoff walk and scored on Herron’s double to right field.

The Jags added two more runs in the top of the fourth after Herron drew a one-out walk, Gwen Jones would come in to pinch run for her. Minahan followed with a single and advanced to second base on a throw to home plate to put to Jags in scoring position. Lowe would ground out to second to score Jones. Messer would follow with an infield base hit to score Minahan putting USA up 3-1.

McGill would work herself way out of two separate situations in the next two innings.

USA would add an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning after Blair Johnson reached on a leadoff due to a Trojan fielding error. She would score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Minahan for a 4-1 lead, which would be the final score as well.

Freshman righty Kalen McGill (16-2) recorded her second complete-game win of the series by only allowing one unearned run while scattering nine hits and striking out five with only one walk.

Stephanie Pilkington went 2-for-4 in the game. Herron went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Messer went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Minahan also went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

USA ends the regular season with a 35-10 record overall and a 16-4 record in Sun Belt Conference play.

South Alabama will be the #2 seed in the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Tournament which takes place May 6-9 in San Marcos, Texas.

Baseball

South Alabama swept their second-consecutive Sun Belt Conference series with their weekend sweep of Georgia Southern.

Jag righty Kevin Hill struck out 12 batters in his second consecutive complete game as USA won 7-1 in the series opener. Hill only allowed one run on five hits with two walks to go along with his 12 strikeouts for his eighth consecutive win.

In game two the Jags entered the sixth inning facing a three-run deficit but after 14 batters went to the plate and eight runs pushed across the plate, the Jags would take the lead and not relinquish it the rest of the game.

Jag lefty Joey Jones (1-0) walked two in 2/3 of an inning to earn his first career win at USA.

In game three, the Jags scored multiple runs in four different innings for an 11-4 win to complete the sweep. The Jags (32-17, 17-7 SBC) had 13 hits in the game.

With the weekend sweep, USA moves into first place in the conference ahead of Georgia State (27-20, 14-8 SBC), UL-Lafayette (30-17, 14-9 SBC) and Georgia Southern (27-21, 16-11 SBC).

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