South Alabama's Hannah Campbell

MOBILE, Ala. ­-- Hannah Campbell retired all 18 Mississippi Valley State batters to record her fourth career no-hitter and first perfect game, and No. 13 South Alabama squeezed 10 runs out of seven hits to shut out the Devilettes 10-0 in the opening round of the Mobile Regional on Friday.

USA (46-7) capitalized on three MVSU errors and scored all its runs with two outs to advance into the winner’s bracket and stay perfect through its past 17 games. The top-seeded Jaguars will take on second-seeded Florida State, who defeated Mississippi State on Friday, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jaguar Field.

Mississippi Valley State will take on Mississippi State in an elimination contest.

Campbell’s perfect game was the first in USA history. She struck out six and extended her shutout streak to 24.1 innings, dating to the Jaguars’ first game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament versus Troy on May 8.

“I thought about having the same approach I’ve had all year,” Campbell said of the feat. “I came in and didn’t pitch any different. I just played my game and that’s pretty much it.”

Blair Johnson led the USA at the plate, driving in a single-game, career-high four runs on two hits including a three-run triple in the bottom of the fourth. Meghan Collins hit her first homer in 13 games, a three-run shot that fell high into the crowd over right field in the bottom of the sixth, serving as the game’s final play.

Kaitlyn Griffith and Emily Messer provided two runs apiece, while Brittany Fowler and Stephanie Pilkington scored once each.

Johnson drove in USA’s first run in the bottom of the third with an infield single that scored Messer, who sped to third on a Devilette throwing error to lead off the frame. An inning later, it was Messer who did the favor, driving home Collins with a single down the left-field line.

Immediately following, Britany Campbell drew a hit-by-pitch and was followed by Fowler, who was dealt a walk on five pitches, setting the table for Johnson to crush a bases-clearing triple to left-center on a 1-2 count to give the Jaguars half their final tally.

USA scored its next two runs on MVSU errors before Collins’ homer in the bottom of the sixth extended the scoreline to 10-0, decreeing the mercy rule. 

“It was a great way to get the tournament started,” USA head coach Becky Clark said. “Anytime you go into something like this, you want to get off on the right foot. I thought we did that.

“We had great pitching and great defense. We got the timely hits [Friday]. Blair’s hit was huge to break the game open. It was a great day for us, I loved the crowd and I want to thank Mobile for showing up. Having that energy and support behind us was great.”

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