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Local Roundup: Lady Eagles stay alive

GSU baseball ends 10-game win streak

    GREENSBORO, N.C.  — Sophomore Robyne Siliga hit a two-out, bases-loaded, walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to keep Georgia Southern in the Southern Conference Tournament, defeating UNC Greensboro 3-2 Friday at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
    Earlier in the day the Eagles (27-31) downed Elon 4-1.
    The Eagles face Western Carolina today at 11 a.m. in a rematch of the first round that saw WCU win 2-0. The winner will face No. 7 seed Furman.
    “I’m very, very excited about the game,” said GSU coach Natalie Poole. “We felt like, even though it started to get away from us in the first inning, we had a lot of game left. We knew we had to be aggressive, and we knew we were going to have to play a great game because Greensboro just put away Charleston. We came out ready to play and stayed focused and didn’t press.”
    Freshman Elizabeth Branan led off the fateful inning with a single, and a Lindsey Hopkins sacrifice attempt was bobbled to put runners on first and second. Senior Maria Laurato followed with a single to load the bases with no outs.
    Vanessa Oakes (14-13) retired the next two batters to bring up Siliga. After several near-hits, she lined a 1-2 pitch up the middle to bring home the winning run.
    Siliga’s single capped off Georgia Southern rally from an early 2-0 deficit as starter Melissa Laliberte failed to get out of the first inning. Siliga tied the game in the fourth on a solo homer. She finished the game by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
    Senior Logan Free (10-13) came out of the bullpen in the first and held the Spartans to just two hits in 6.1 innings. She struck out seven and walked one.
    “It was an excellent performance,” Poole said, “and probably even better than we’ve seen already in the tournament. She did a good job of shutting them down and making them chase some pitches out of the zone.”
    In the earlier game against Elon, two Georgia Southern pitchers combined for a five-hitter.
     Free pitched out of trouble as she walked five in 3.1 innings of work, but allowed just the one run. Laliberte picked up the win (11-13) out of the bullpen, throwing 3.2 innings of two-hit ball.
    Jenny Side, Laurato and Hopkins and  had two hits each to pace the offensive attack.

The Citadel tops Eagle baseball 9-1
    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Georgia Southern had its 10-game winning streak halted Friday night as Wes Wrenn threw a complete game leading
The Citadel to a 9-1 win in Southern Conference play at Riley Park. The Eagles dropped to 30-23 overall and 11-11 in SoCon play.
    The Bulldogs (27-22, 10-12) used an error and another long ball to score three runs in the third. Chance Smith nailed a 2-run homer and Sonny Meade added a RBI single to extend their lead to 4-0.
    Georgia Southern finally cracked the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Jeremy Beckham and Mike Economos  singled to start the frame. Matt Miller  advanced the runners on a groundout. Jeremiah Parker  brought home Beckham on a
groundout, cutting the deficit to 4-1.
    For just the fourth time this season the Eagles were held without an extra-base hit, just five singles. That snapped a 14-game streak of at least one double in a game.
    Will Southwell and Economos had two hits apiece and Beckham accounted for the fifth hit. Aaron Eubanks (3-3) allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits through six innings. He walked one and struck out two. Kyle Kamppi  fanned two batters for his two-thirds of an inning pitched to close out the seventh. Burt Barto pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
    Wrenn (4-6) allowed one run on five hits, walking one and striking out three in his second complete game this season. Smith had three hits while Matt Arnold and Kyle Jordan tallied two hits apiece.
    Game two of the series is scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch today.


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