CONWAY, S.C. — The 2012 Georgia Southern Softball season got underway on Friday afternoon with the Eagles splitting their first two games at the Coastal Carolina Kickin’ Chicken Classic. Georgia Southern opened the day with a 11-1 victory over George Washington to give Head Coach Annie Smith a win in her first game in charge of the Eagles. The runs, however, dried up in the finale with Marshall taking a 4-1 victory to close the day.
Andrea Tarashuk led the Eagles on the season’s opening day with a 4-for-6 effort including three RBI and two doubles. Senior Mackenzie Williams was 5-for-8 with two doubles and four runs scored. SoCon Preseason Player of the Year Marie Fogle did not disappoint, going 4-for-7 to open the season with a double. Fogle was also the only Eagle to steal a base in the first two games of the season.
Junior Tabby Douberley and sophomore transfer Kourtny Thomas each stroked a home run in the opening game of the day as the Eagles opened the season with a victory for the third-straight year.
The Eagles opened the 2012 season with a 11-1 rout of George Washington in six innings. Fogle and Douberley went 3-for-4 in the game as the Eagles pounded out 16 hits in the contest. GSU drew first blood in the second inning as Williams scored off a double by Tarashuk to give the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.
Four more runs would cross in the third as Williams pushed two in with a two RBI double to left field. Another run scored on Shelby Morrill’s sacrifice fly. Tarashuk tallied her second RBI of the game to close the inning with a shot up the middle to score Thomas.
After an open fourth frame, the Eagles got back in the scoring mood with three more runs in the fifth. Tarashuk added her third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to right. Douberley, however, cleared the bases with her second career home run to put the Eagles up 8-0.
Georgia Southern starting pitcher Sarah Purvis carried a two hitter into the fifth inning when the Colonials finally got to the sophomore pitcher. GW strung together two hits and a walk in the frame before scoring their lone run of the game to delay the run rule and force a sixth inning.
The Eagles tacked on three more runs off four hits in the sixth to go up 11-1. Thomas smacked her first home run at Georgia Southern, a solo job, with one out in the inning. Douberley scored two runners with two outs with a single through the right side of the infield to cap the season opener.
Purvis got the win in the circle to go 1-0, while freshman Brooke Red got the final three outs of the game without allowing a hit. Purvis struck out five while walking six GW batters.
The day’s finale saw the Eagles fall 4-1 to former SoCon rival Marshall. Williams and Jorie Walker recorded half of the Eagles’ seven hits in the game with two each. Georgia Southern, the home team in the second game of the day scored first again with one in the second. Alexa Lewis reached on a fielding error which allowed Williams to score with two out in the inning for a 1-0 Georgia Southern lead.
A two-run home run by Jasmine Valle off starting pitcher Allie Miles gave the Thundering Herd its first lead of the afternoon in the fourth inning. Miles would get one out in the fifth inning before being replaced by Red with the bases loaded. A wild pitch followed by a sacrifice fly would plate two more runs as the Thundering Herd rolled to a 4-1 lead.
Two singles to open the seventh inning from Fogle and Hanna Ennis gave the Eagles life in the final frame, but runners would be unable to successfully advance past second as the Eagles were retired to close the game.
Georgia Southern takes on Marshall again this afternoon at 4:30, followed by a game against George Mason at 6:30 p.m. as the Coastal Carolina Kickin’ Chickin Classic enters its second day. The tournament closes for the Eagles on Sunday at 2 p.m. against Coastal Carolina.