STATESBORO, Ga. - The College of Charleston softball team heads to Georgia Southern for a key Southern Conference three-game series with the first-place Eagles at Eagle Field on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15.
The games offer to be low scoring as the SoCon's four best individual ERAs and two best team fielding percentages will be on display.
College of Charleston (28-13, 11-4 SoCon) @ Georgia Southern (25-14, 11-1 SoCon)
Saturday, April 14 • 3 p.m. (doubleheader)
Sunday, April 15 • 1 p.m.
Eagle Field (Statesboro, Ga.)
Webstream - Live Stats - Twitter
GLANCING AT THE COUGARS
CofC continues to build momentum and has now won 11 straight as well as 20 of their last 22 games. The Cougars are coming off a doubleheader sweep of South Carolina State in which freshman Hope Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) through her first career perfect game to cap the sweep.
Klicker struck out a career-high 16 batters, only requiring five outs of her defense as the Cougars sailed to a 6-0 victory. In game one, Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.) pitched a complete game and struck out 10 hitters while not issuing a single walk and only allowing two hits and two total base runners as CofC cruised to a 9-0 victory. Klicker is fourth in the conference in ERA with a 1.73 mark.
Saylors, the reigning SoCon Pitcher of the Week, has now thrown complete games in her last 11 outings and only allowed four runs in her last 56 innings of work. She leads the league with her 1.39 ERA and 16 wins on the season.
As a team, the Cougars are currently leading the league in team pitching with a 1.86 ERA, in second in team fielding with a .962 fielding percentage and in third in team batting with a .285 batting average.
The Cougars continue to benefit from production up and down their lineup and now have four players hitting over .300 and six players with double-digit RBIs.
Sophomore Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) leads the club in both categories with a .331 batting average and 28 RBIs. She also leads the team with 17 extra-base hits this season. In game one of Tuesday's doubleheader, Hodgson hit her first career grand slam which surged the Cougars toward a nine-run fifth inning.
Following Hodgson is Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) with a .326 batting average. Jarrett, a recently-converted left-handed hitter, has demonstrated her speed this season with 11 bunt singles and 10 stolen bases.
Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) is batting .419 on the Cougars 11-game win streak which has boosted her average to .311 on the season. She leads the team and the conference in stolen bases with 16 this season.
Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) is batting .301 on the season and, along with Hodgson, sits in a tie atop the league in triples with three on the year. Vaughn has reached base safely in eight consecutive games for the Cougars and leads the team with 12 multiple-hit games this season.
The Cougars have now gone five consecutive games without allowing a single run are outscoring their opponents 70-8 on their current 11-game winning streak.
CofC has demonstrated the importance of scoring early runs and holds a 10-1 record when scoring in the first inning and 24-1 record when scoring first in a game. The Cougars are 22-0 when leading after four innings.
The last time the Cougars were in Statesboro, Ga., CofC made a memorable run through the SoCon Championships which landed them in the finals. After losing a close game to Elon in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament, CofC strung together four must-win games to claw their way back into the championship game.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
The Eagles had strung four wins together before a Tuesday trek to Atlanta, Ga., where they were swept in a doubleheader at Georgia Tech. In the opener Sarah Purvis tossed a two-hitter against the Yellow Jackets but a Georgia Tech run in the first inning was the difference in the 1-0 decision. In the second game Georgia Tech took advantage of miscues by the Eagles to score four runs in the sixth inning and a 5-1 final score.
Behind Saylors, the Eagles claim the second and third best ERAs in the league with Brooke Red's 1.52 mark and Purvis' 1.66.
Purvis anchors the Eagle pitching staff with a 13-8 record including a win in all six of her league starts. She has fanned 161 batters and is holding opposing batters to a .177 average. Red, a freshman, picked up her ninth win of the season and has not registered a loss. She has a 1.52 ERA in 69.0 innings and has allowed just 48 hits this season.
Offensively the Eagles have been led by Marie Fogle who bats .431 this season with 21 RBIs and a .691 slugging percentage. Mackenzie Williams is the only other player for the Eagles batting over .300 and she does so with a .309 average and a team-high 28 RBIs and seven home runs.
The Cougars trail this all-time series by a 22-39 count. For two seasons in a row, CofC has won the opening game of the series but faltered in the final two games to allow the Eagles to claim the series.
Last season, then-senior Alexa Datko threw a complete-game no hitter against the Eagles in game one marking the first pitcher to no-hit Georgia Southern since Tiffany McDonald did it while pitching for Florida State in 2006.
In games two and three, however, Georgia Southern managed a three-run seventh inning both times to claim 4-3 and 6-5 victories to take the series.
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE FOR THE DOUBLEHEADER
GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com will provide a video webstream at no cost but users will be required to create an account before viewing. Live stats and play-by-play will be available through CofCSports.com.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS:
Another great way of keeping up with the CofC softball team is through the team's own Twitter account (@CofCSoftball). The account provides pictures, team activities, statuses when the team is on the road and in-game thoughts and updates.
The Cougars break from SoCon play with a midweek doubleheader at crosstown-rival Charleston Southern on Wednesday, April 18 starting at 2 p.m.