STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern Softball opened its weekend series with College of Charleston with a pair of victories at Eagle Field. In the opener, Sarah Purvis (Warner Robins, Ga.) went the distance for a three-hit victory, while Hanna Ennis (Snellville, Ga.) posted a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the 10th to earn the 2-1 win. In the second game, Allie Miles (Dacula, Ga.) tossed her second-straight complete game in conference play Eagles (27-14, 13-1 SoCon) behind four runs off five hits including a two-RBI double by Shelby Morrill (Madison, Ga.). The Eagles close the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. against College of Charleston (28-15, 11-6 SoCon) in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game.
"Our goal every weekend is to get series victories and we've done that," said Head Coach Annie Smith. "Charleston is a very good ball-club and I'm happy that we were able to get two wins today as our pitching staff continues to prove why its one of the best staffs in the league. These wins go down as team victories because everyone contributed to us winning today."
Purvis opened the day in the circle with eight strikeouts in the first three innings with a pop out being the only other out. In the top of the fourth, Carly Corthell lifted a leadoff home run down the left field line to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Marie Fogle (Rincon, Ga.) broke up Charleston's no-hitter bid with a two-out liner up the middle. A walk to the next batter, Mackenzie Williams (Baxley, Ga.) put a pair of runners on base, but neither would advance as a strikeout ended the inning.
An inning later, Kourtny Thomas (Warner Robins, Ga.) brought the teams level with her sixth home run of the season and her first since a round-tripper against Mercer on March 14th. The homer tied the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Alexa Lewis (Lawrenceville, Ga.) opened the inning with a laced single up the middle, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Ennis. The Cougars intentionally walked Fogle to put runners on first and second for Williams who also earned a walk to load the bases. Charleston's Stephanie Saylors, however, settled down with a strikeout and induced a two-out fly out to strand three Eagles in the sixth.
The game went through two innings of standard extra inning play before the international tiebreaker rule was brought into effect in the 10th inning. Charleston's runner in the 10th was stranded at third thanks to a pair of foul outs to the catcher. In the bottom of the frame the Eagles moved the runner on second over with a sacrifice bunt by Lewis. The next batter, Ennis, laced a single through the left side to win the game, 2-1 for the Eagles.
Purvis finished the afternoon with 15 strikeouts in 10 innings of work, making her only the third Eagle to record 15+ strikeouts twice in her career. She was also two short of the school record of 17 strikeouts in a game. She allowed just three hits for her fourth-straight start where she allowed three hits or less. It was her 14th win of the season and seventh in league play.
Ennis continued to deliver clutch hits in game two when her fourth inning double to the gap in left scored Lewis from second to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The lead went to 2-0 later in the inning when Williams ripped a double to the gap in right, bringing in pinch runner Breanna McLendon (Soperton, Ga.) in from third.
The Cougars, however, sliced into the Eagle advantage with a leadoff home run to start the fifth inning. It was the first home run conceded by Miles in her last five appearances, dating back to March 10th.
In the sixth inning, the Eagles touched Hope Klicker for two more runs, both unearned, on a double by Morrill. A two out fielding error by the Cougars opened the door for back-to-back hits which extended the lead to 4-1.
In the seventh, Miles worked around two hits to dismiss the Cougars and earn her third win of the season and her second-straight league complete game victory. She allowed just the one run off six hits while striking out six Charleston batters.
The Eagles close the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. with the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Georgia Southern will don special pink jerseys for the game. The shirts can be purchased at Eagle Field for $15 each. All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
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