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Eagles beat Samford, advance to SoCon semis

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Georgia Southern Softball picked up a 3-0 win over Samford on Thursday to advance to Friday’s semifinal round of the SoCon Tournament. The Eagles, firmly in the driver’s seat in their half of the bracket can advance to Saturday’s final with one win against UNCG or Furman in Friday’s round.
    In the other semifinal, Chattanooga will match up with Samford after the Lady Bulldogs defeated Western Carolina Thursday.
    “We played another great game to put us in a good position,” said Head Coach Annie Smith. “Our batters got great at bats and we were able to score some runs early. Sarah (Purvis) threw another great game for us in the circle.”
    Georgia Southern took a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a pair of singles. Taylor Rogers opened the game with a leadoff slap hit to second base. She made it to second on a sacrifice and scored on with an RBI single through the left side from Kourtny Thomas to put the Eagles up 1-0.
    Morgan Robinson delivered her second RBI of the tournament in the third inning when she laced a ball up the middle to drive in AJ Hamilton for the second run of the game with no outs. Kaitlyn Johnson pushed in another run later in the inning to put the Eagles up 3-0.
    Starting pitcher Sarah Purvis made sure the advantage stuck as the senior delivered her second-straight shutout victory. She improved to 20-11 on the season one day after tossing her sixth career no-hitter. In the win over Samford Purvis allowed five hits and fanned 12 Bulldogs.
    The Eagles advance to Friday’s semifinal round to face either UNCG or Furman at 12:30 p.m. Georgia Southern will have two opportunities to pick up one victory and book a spot in the SoCon Tournament Final on Saturday afternoon on ESPN3.