Georgia Southern 7, Furman 0
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Georgia Southern softball moved one step closer to its first regular season Southern Conference Championship since 1996 with a 7-0 win over Furman to open the weekend series on Saturday afternoon. Sarah Purvis set the Georgia Southern school record for strikeouts in a season by upping her total to 213 this year. Kaitlyn Johnson hit a pair of doubles and finished the game with four RBIs.
Georgia Southern improves to 36-17 overall and 20-12 in league play. Furman is 17-32 with a 6-16 record in the Southern Conference. The Eagles can win the conference with two wins on Sunday against Furman or a combination of wins and Chattanooga losses at UNCG this weekend.
The Eagles drew first blood in the first inning, scoring three runs off a 3-RBI double by Johnson. Her knock to the gap in left with the bases loaded pushed Alexa Lewis, Marie Fogle and Mackenzie Williams in to score. Later in the frame, Kourtny Thomas laced a single over the Furman shortstop to score Johnson from third. GSU extended the lead to 5-0 with a double from Tabby Douberley.
Purvis, the Georgia Southern starting pitcher wrote her name in the record books by surpassing Cary Moone’s school record of 206 strikeouts in a season. She set the mark with her third strikeout of the game to start the second inning. Purvis would go on to strike out nine batters in the game.
Georgia Southern caught the scoring fever again in the fifth inning. Fogle opened the frame with a double, followed by an RBI single from Williams. Johnson hit her second RBI double of the game down the left field line to score pinch runner Jorie Walker. Tarashuk followed suit with a double of her own to move Johnson to third base with no outs. Consecutive outs would end the GSU threat in the fifth with GSU holding a 7-0 advantage.
On her record-breaking day, Purvis tossed her second-consecutive two-hitter as the Eagles shutout the Paladins 7-0. Purvis has 213 strikeouts this season and is five short of moving into 10th place on the Southern Conference single-season strikeouts list.
The 2012 regular season comes to an end on Sunday morning with an 11 a.m. doubleheader from Pepsi Stadium against the Paladins.
Elon 2, College of Charleston 1
Game 2 of the doubleheader – suspended
ELON, N.C. – The Elon softball team picked up the win in the first game of a doubleheader against visiting College of Charleston today, May 5, before game two was suspended due to rain. The Phoenix (22-23, 9-13) defeated the Cougars (30-21, 12-9) with 2-1 victory at East Field, while game two was in the top of the fifth with the game tied at two-all.
The maroon and gold took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second after Erin O’Shea helped her own cause with a solo home run to left on a 1-1 offering from Stephanie Saylors.
But the Cougars answered in the top of the third after Carly Corthell singled up the middle with one out to score Hope Klicker from second to make it a tied game.
Both squads went scoreless until Elon broke through for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth. Following a leadoff single by Kaitlyn Piazzolla, a sacrifice bunt and groundout moved pinch runner Charyssa Parent to third with two outs for Camille Hill. Hill came through in the clutch for the Phoenix, slapping a 3-1 pitch through the left side to score Parent and give Elon a 2-1 lead. Hill finished game one 1-for-3 at the plate.
College of Charleston put the tying run on base in the seventh, but E. O’Shea shut the Cougars down to preserve the game one win.
E. O’Shea (14-13) went all seven innings for the win, giving up one run on five hits and two walks while fanning four Cougars in her 10th complete game of the season. E. O’Shea also went 1-for-2 at the plate, hitting her fifth home run of the year.
Saylors (16-12) took the loss for CofC after giving up two runs on three hits over six innings of work, striking out four batters.
After CofC posted a run in the top of the first to take an early lead, the Phoenix answered with a two-run bottom half to take a 2-1 advantage. Carleigh Nester led off the inning with an opposite field double to the gap in right center and scored later in the inning from third after stealing home on a double steal while Hill swiped second. Elon tacked on one more in the first on an RBI double to right by Tomeka Watson to claim the lead.
The Cougars responded in the top of the third to tie the game, as an RBI double to left by Maples scored Jarrett to make it a 2-all game.
After one and half scoreless innings, Mother Nature forced the suspension of play. The game will resume tomorrow, May 6, at 1 p.m. in the top of the fifth inning. The third and final game of the series will follow the conclusion of game two.
Elon will celebrate Senior Day and the final home contest for Danielle Lafferty, E. O’Shea, Piazzolla before play at 12:40 p.m. tomorrow. Sunday’s games will also mark the last at East Field as the team will begin playing at Hunt Softball Park in 2013.
Chattanooga 9, UNCG 1 (6)
Game 2 of the doubleheader – suspended
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Chattanooga Lady Mocs softball team used a 13-hit performance in a 9-1 six inning run-rule victory at UNC Greensboro on Saturday afternoon. Game two was scoreless in the top of the third with one on for Chattanooga before rain came and postponed the contest till 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Freshman Cheyenne Willis registered a 4-for-4 performance, tying a season-high, with three runs scored and drove in two runs.
The work in the circle by freshman Taylor Deason was just as impressive as she tallied a three-hit complete-game shutout, while striking out six with the only run being unearned.
Tallying two hits during the game were sophomore outfielder Stephanie Rieck, senior catcher Vivian Morimoto and junior second baseman Sara Poteat. Multi-RBI games were recorded by Willis, Rieck and Morimoto.
During the Chattanooga (35-14, 18-2 SoCon) starting lineups, Morimoto was announced as a graduating senior and wore a cap and gown out for the national anthem. Saturday served as graduation for Chattanooga back in the Scenic City.
Willis began the first inning by beating out an infield single to short before Rieck used a sacrifice bunt to move her to second. A singled through the left side by Morimoto moved runners to the corners. The Lady Mocs took an early 1-0 lead on a base knock up the middle by junior first baseman Kasey Tydingco.
Chattanooga struck for two more in the second as Poteat blooped a one-out single to left. Willis drove her home on her conference-leading fourth triple of the season to left center. The Manchester, Tenn., later scored on a groundout by Rieck.
To end the third, second baseman Poteat robbed a potential two-out RBI single for Alex Emeterio of UNCG (21-39, 10-11 SoCon). The runner on third base was Aisha Figueroa, who reached on an infield single.
After another Figueroa infield base hit, the Lady Mocs registered two hits in the fourth, a single by Willis and double from Rieck.
The Spartans used two Lady Mocs defensive miscues to start a rally in the bottom of the fifth. The third infield single for Figueroa would load the bases before Aubrey Baldwin would drive in a run on a fielder's choice to third. Deason would be able to limit the damage by utilizing a groundout and strikeout.
Chattanooga flexed its offensive muscle in the sixth inning by scoring six runs on six hits. Freshman third baseman Sarah Beth Roberts drew a leadoff walk before sophomore outfielder Layne Rainey registered an infield single off the pitcher's glove. A bunt single by Poteat filled the bases.
Driving in a run with the bases loaded was Willis with a single to right center. Rieck stepped up and delivered a two-run double down the left field line. Senior designated player Michelle Fuzzard reached on a fielder's choice as a run crossed the plate, 7-1.
Another big hit came from Morimoto, who drilled a pitch into the left center gap as two more runners came around to score, 9-1. Roberts tallied a base knock after that as the Lady Mocs left one on base in the inning.
Deason put down the Spartans in order as a double play eliminated a runner that was hit by a pitch. The Clarksville, Tenn., native tallied her sixth strikeout to end the game.
Taking the loss for UNCG to fall to 13-15 on the season was Cory Mattson. Josie Felix pitched the last three outs in the sixth, allowing just one hit.
The Lady Mocs and UNCG will resume game two on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. and play the finale of the series afterwards.
Western Carolina 2, Samford 1
Western Carolina 3, Samford 2
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Western Carolina softball (23-32, 8-15 Southern Conference) used a pair off walk-off RBI singles to defeat Samford (13-39, 6-17 SoCon) 2-1, 3-2 Saturday at the Catamount Softball Complex.
The Catamounts won game one in the seventh inning and defeated the Bulldogs in eight innings in the second game. Western Carolina’s eight wins, in the Southern Conference, are the most by the club since winning nine conference games in 2009.
Erin Foster was the catalyst for both wins on Saturday. In game one, it was Foster’s RBI double that halted a scoreless game, scoring Robyn Burnette in the fifth inning.
Game two afforded the chance for Foster to play hero. Constantly earning the manacle of hardest out, and hottest hitter, in the Southern Conference, Foster got her chance to prove that title in the second game of the doubleheader against the Bulldogs. With two outs, Jordan Fulton beat out a single and then moved to second on a Samford error. Foster took a 2-2 pitch up the middle for an RBI single handing Western Carolina a 3-2 win over Samford.
Foster now has 63 hits for the season, needing just seven hits to tie the single-season hits record at Western Carolina of 70. She also has 53 RBI and has reached base safely in 20 straight games.
After Foster’s RBI double put Western Carolina up 1-0 in the fifth inning, of the first game, some of the Catamounts’ momentum was deflated in the sixth inning. Western Carolina starting pitcher Jordan Garrett had her shutout attempt squelched when she gave up a homerun to Mischa Alridge to tie the game.
Garrett quickly recovered and held the Bulldogs, setting up the game-winning hit by junior first baseman Kelly Braman. After holding Samford scoreless in the seventh inning, the Catamounts mustered the offense needed to win in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman catcher Heather Chastain led off with a single and Bekah Burkett came in and pinch ran for Chastain. With two outs, Fulton reached on an error and Foster was walked to load the bases. Braman made the Bulldogs pay by hitting a single RBI through the right side, scoring Burkett, and giving WCU the win.
Garrett got the win on the mound, tossing a complete game. She allowed one run on three hits and struck out six.
Game two was eerily similar to game one with both teams going scoreless through the course of the first four innings. Catamount junior Shemekia Scotton ending the scoring drought with a solo homerun to left center, to give WCU a 1-0 lead in he fifth inning. Western Carolina tacked on a second run after Chastain singled and then pinch runner Alex Church scored after a Samford error in the outfield.
Starting pitcher Katie King had a solid outing tossing 5.1 innings. After getting into a bit of the jam, loading the bases in the sixth inning, King was replaced by Garrett, who got two strikeouts to end the Bulldog threat.
Samford scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at two and force extra innings. Garrett would eventually get the win and improves to 11-17 on the season, getting both victories in the doubleheader.
King tossed 5.1 innings of shutout softball allowing four hits and struck out three.
Western Carolina will play its final regular season contest of the season at 1 p.m. Sunday, hosting Samford in the final game of the three-game series with the Bulldogs. The Catamounts will look for its second series sweep of the season.