Softball completes sweep of USM

HATTIESBURG, MS-The No. 15 ranked (USA Today/NFCA) Crimson Tide softball team (38-13) defeated Southern Miss (25-23) 2-1 to complete a season sweep of the Lady Eagles.

The Tide defeated Southern Miss last Wednesday 2-0 in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama threatened in the top of the third inning when Jackie Wilkins reached on a one-out triple down the leftfield line. Leah White popped out to shallow centerfield followed by a strikeout to Ashley Courtney. Southern Miss catcher Kenya Peters was not able to hold on to the third strike against Courtney but Wilkins ran on the dropped ball and was tagged out at the plate by Peters to end the inning.

The Tide took the lead in the top of the fourth when Lacy Prejean took an 0-1 pitch and hit her third home run of the season, a solo shot down the left field line to put Bama on top 1-0. Suzanne Olcott then reached on a two-out infield single and promptly stole second. Emily Currie drew a walk and Jennifer Reach hit a single into left field scoring Olcott to go on top 2-0.

The Lady Eagles rallied in the bottom of the inning loading the bases courtesy of two singles and a walk with one out. However, Erin Wright worked out of the jam with two consecutive strikeouts to end the threat.

Southern Miss rallied again in the fifth inning putting runners on second and third with one out. Jennifer Wright, who was on in relief of Erin Wright, threw a wild pitch allowing Amanda Brown to score cutting the lead in half. Shelley Laird came on in relief of Jennifer Wright and on the first pitch Peters hit a line drive that was snared by Reach who threw on to third to double up Heather Bell and end the inning.

Erin Wright, who made her first start since March 23, picked up the win running her record to 10-3 on the season. Laird picked up her fourth save of the season and 15th career, moving her to within one career save of Lori Sippel of Nebraska for seventh on the NCAA's all-time save list.

The Tide will continue their tour of Mississippi this weekend when the team travels to Starkville, MS to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a three-game series.

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