HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss softball team continues the season this weekend as they play host to the Black and Gold Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss.
The Golden Eagles open the tournament on Friday, Feb. 17 against Nicholls State at 7:00 p.m. The Black and Gold also play on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a single game against Jacksonville State at 3:00 p.m. and conclude the tournament with a pair of games against Nicholls (12:00 p.m.) and Mississippi Valley State (3:00 p.m.).
The Golden Eagles enter the tournament weekend 4-2 overall, coming off a huge doubleheader sweep last Sunday against No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette in the 31st annual Louisiana Classic.
Offensively, Southern Miss posted a combined .225 batting average going 32-for-142 with two doubles, a triple, and five homeruns. The team drew 25 walks and had four stolen bases to add to the teams’ 51 total bases over the weekend. The offense was highlighted by a duo of homeruns by Lauren Holifield and Samantha Papp in exciting fashion, along with a solo homerun by Selena Estrada, who hit the walk off two-run homer to end the second game against No. 11 UL, 5-3.
In the circle, Jillian Johnson and Kim Crowson both earned wins while Johnson collected a save on the season. All six pitchers on the roster saw some action posting a combined team ERA of 2.73. Johnson had a season high six strikeouts against the Cajuns.
The meeting with Nicholls will be the 51st time these two teams have met. The last time these two met was Feb. 27 of last year where Southern Miss came up on the winning side. This will be the seventh time the Golden Eagles and the Gamecocks have met, last time was Feb 23, 2013 with a Southern Miss win 6-2 at the Southern Miss Invitational. Southern Miss is 6-2 against the Devilettes with a Golden Eagle win the last time these two met, Feb. 21, 2015.
Nicholls: The Colonels enter the weekend 6-1 on the season. Nicholls have won the last three games in five innings including a sweep of Jackson State (13-0 and 8-0). The Colonels will play Jacksonville State on Friday, Feb. prior to facing Southern Miss.
Jacksonville State: The Gamecocks are 4-1 entering the weekend, with wins over Central Arkansas (2x), Alabama State, and Houston Baptist. The lone loss (0-1) was to South Alabama. The Gamecocks will play Mississippi Valley State and Nicholls before their meeting with Southern Miss on Sat. Feb. 18.
Mississippi Valley State: The Devilettes enter the weekend 1-4 on the season, with a win over Coppin State 7-3. Mississippi Valley State will play Jacksonville State twice and Nicholls before being matched up with the Golden Eagles on Sunday.
Live stats and in-game tweets (@SouthernMissSB) will be available throughout the weekend.