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Eagles win, advance at SoCon Tournament

    BOONE, N.C. — The top-seeded Georgia Southern softball team advanced past fifth-seeded Appalachian State, 6-0, during Day 2 of the 2012 Southern Conference Softball Tournament on Thursday night.
    GSU pitcher Sarah Purvis was dominant in the circle for the Eagles, striking out eight batters and allowing just one hit in her six innings of work. The Eagles face No. 2 seed Chattanooga at 3 p.m. today with a trip to the SoCon Championship came on the line.
    “That was one of the best games we have played in awhile,” GSU head coach Annie Smith said. “Sarah Purvis pitched a great game and our offense did a great job. We’ve got a huge game (Friday) afternoon against Chattanooga.”
    The game’s first three innings were played at a brisk pace with each pitcher holding her opponents in check. Kourtny Thomas changed that with a towering home run to center field that landed on the roof of Appalachian State's indoor practice facility. The two-run homer was her seventh of the season and first since April 14. She plated GSU’s designated player, Kaitlyn Johnson, on the play to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the middle of the fourth frame.
    In the sixth inning, Tabby Douberley laced a single up the middle to score the Eagles' third run of the game and chase Appalachian’s starting pitcher, Caitlyn Wainwright, from the game. Wainwright had the Eagles' number of late, entering the game holding GSU scoreless over her last 11 2/3 innings.
    GSU's Lexi Allen welcomed Appalachian State' Riley Carter to the circle by ripping a three-run home run over the scoreboard in left field. It was Allen's second homer of the season, both coming in Boone, N.C.
    Allen’s heroics gave the Eagles a 6-0 lead through the middle of the sixth inning and tied the SoCon’s record for most total home runs in a tournament with 20.
    Purvis got within four outs of her second no-hitter of the season, keeping the Mountaineers without a hit until two outs in the sixth. The Mountaineers put a pair of runners in scoring position before Alexa Lewis made a crucial catch against the fence to retire the Mountaineer threat in the frame.
    GSU's Allie Miles came on to close out the game with a pair of strikeouts. Purvis, earned her 22nd win of the year, raising her school record total.
    Purvis also increased her season strikeout total to 238 against the Mountaineers. She has also not allowed a run in her last 35 1/3 innings of work.
    Georgia Southern improved to 40-17 overall, while Appalachian State dropped to 22-24. The winner of this afternoon’s game between the Eagles and the UT Chattanooga Lady Mocs will advance to Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. SoCon Championship game.
    The loser of this afternoon's game will play in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Saturday.