Stephen Duke, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State University softball team won their first game of the season on Saturday in a series finale with the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
The series, however, went to the Golden Eagles. They took the first two games of the series, but JSU’s win in the finale prevented a series sweep.
In the first inning, the Gamecocks gave the Eagles five walks. After a three-run homerun, and two other runs, the Eagles held a five run advantage. However, the Gamecocks sought to claw their way back into the game. A leadoff home run from Jada Terry cut into the lead, making the score 5-1.
The Gamecocks gave up two more home runs in the top of the fifth inning, extending the Golden Eagle lead to 7-2. However, the Gamecocks came back with a run in the bottom of the fifth. This run came when Karsen Mosley hit a sacrifice fly to drive Shelby Newsome in to make the score 7-3.
The Gamecocks later had a one-out single hit in the seventh inning, but could not add anything, with 7-3 being the final Friday night.
The Gamecocks and Golden Eagles came together again on Sunday for a doubleheader. In the first game, the Gamecocks fell to Southern Miss 8-2, but the Gamecocks were hungry to find their first win of the season, doing so in the second game of the doubleheader.
Nicole Rodriguez, in her first start of the season, pitched 10 strikes in the 3-0 shutout win for the Gamecocks. This contribution, along with a Savannah Sudduth single, her first of three, and Keeli Bobbitt got the scoring going, giving JSU a 2-0 lead.
Bobbitt scored off a Megan Fortner single. The Gamecocks then added another run in the second inning, when Mosley hit a single that drove Caroline Lively in for the score, giving them the 3-0 lead.
With at least one strikeout pitched in almost every inning by Rodriguez, that would be all the Gamecocks would need in securing their first win of the season.
The second game was a stark contrast from the first, an 8-2 loss for the Gamecocks.
The Golden Eagles got out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning of this first game. In the bottom of the second, freshman Alex Howard drove Lauren Hunt in from second, which got the Gamecocks back within two.
However, the Golden Eagles pulled away in the fourth and fifth innings, leaving no doubt in this game. A score on a two-out RBI in the fourth would be all the scoring Southern Miss would give JSU after the second inning.
Up next for the Gamecocks, the Ohio Valley Conference farewell tour begins for the softball team. They will face Belmont in Nashville in a doubleheader on Saturday, with the first game slated to begin at 1 p.m.