Grant Benefield, Staff Reporter
On Sunday, the Gamecocks looked to avoid a sweep at the hands of Southern Miss, who took both games of their doubleheader on Saturday, 2-1 and 4-3.
However, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (9-6) claimed the 6-4 victory over the Gamecocks (9-4), and with it, the weekend sweep.
Although the Gamecocks entered the series with only one loss (1-0 vs. South Alabama), and already having beaten Southern Miss 2-0 on Feb. 18, the Golden Eagles were not intimidated.
The Golden Eagles wasted no time Sunday afternoon, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after a walk with bases loaded by Gamecock starting pitcher Faith Sims would plate one run. Southern Miss’ Caitlyn Aldous would follow with a single that scored another run. Before recording a single out in the first inning, JSU would be forced to bring on Kirsten Titus in relief.
JSU would answer with a run in the bottom of the second when Hayley Sims singled to score Jamie McGuire.
Southern Miss struck for three more in the top of the third, with two runs scoring on a Rachel Johnson single. Another run would cross via a sacrifice fly by Lauren Holifield, making the score 5-1.
Two home runs by the Gamecocks in the bottom half of the inning cut the Golden Eagle lead to 1. Second baseman Anna Chisolm homered to center to lead off the inning, later followed by a 2 RBI blast by McGuire.
McGuire would finish her day going 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Hayley Sims and Emily Woodruff would also collect two hits for the Gamecocks.
Following McGuire’s home run, Southern Miss would opt to the bullpen, bringing on Jade Lewis in relief.
Southern Miss would score their final run in the top of the sixth on a home run by catcher Bailey Stokes, making the score 6-4.
Lewis would pitch masterfully in relief, surrendering just two hits and no runs or walks in her 4 and two-thirds innings of work. She would also collect two strikeouts, and go on to earn the pitching win for the Golden Eagles.
Faith Sims would take the pitching loss for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks now look to rebound in the Tennessee Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn., where they will open tournament play on March 3 against Southeastern Louisiana.