CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Georgia Southern Softball got a mixed bag of results on the opening day of a three-game series with Western Carolina with a doubleheader split on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles won the opener 4-0 behind Sarah Purvis’ second-straight complete game shutout in the circle. Western Carolina used a five-run second inning to take a 7-2 win in the second game of the day. The series will be decided on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. from the Catamount Softball Complex.
“Sarah Purvis had a great outing in game one and we got some timely hits,” said Head Coach Annie Smith. “Our goal every week is to win the series and we’ll get a chance to do that tomorrow.”
- GAME ONE –
A four-hit shutout in game one gave the Eagles their 12th straight win over Western Carolina. Sarah Purvis struck out five to post her second-straight shutout while striking out her highest total since March 9th. Two home runs paced the GSU offense which posted the 4-0 win.
Each team mustered a single hit in the first inning and went quietly in the second, but all that came to an end when Alexa Lewis opened the third inning with a leadoff home run. The senior hit her third home run of the season on a line to right, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Lexi Allen hit a two-run home run to centerfield for her second long-ball of the season. The no-doubter also drove in Lewis who singled moments earlier. Allen’s bomb gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead through the middle of the fifth.
In the sixth, Georgia Southern tacked on an insurance run off two walks to start the inning. A.J. Hamilton drove in the run with an infield ground out as the Eagle catcher was dismissed for the second out of the inning. The run extended Georgia Southern’s lead to 4-0 in the middle of the sixth.
Open frames for Western Carolina in the final two trips to the plate gave GSU the 4-0 lead and gave Purvis her 11th win of the season.
- GAME TWO -
Western Carolina got the upper hand in game two as a five-run second inning was the difference. The Catamounts took the 7-2 win to split the doubleheader entering the final game on Sunday afternoon.
After being blanked in game one, Western Carolina got two hits and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the frame. A passed by allowed designated player Shemekia Scotton to score from third base and give the hosts an early 1-0 lead.
Western Carolina tallied three more runs to start the second inning to chase starting pitcher Allie Miles from the game through an inning and a third. The Catamounts added two more later in the frame to extend the lead to 6-0 through two innings.
After both teams went scoreless in the third, Kourtny Thomas gave the Eagles their first run of game two with a leadoff home run in the fourth inning. Shelby Morrill laced a triple later in the frame, but the junior would be cut down attempting to score as Western took a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth.
Western Carolina added an insurance run in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 7-1.
In the seventh inning, Georgia Southern put two runners on base with no outs, but was able to get just one run in the final frame. Alexa Lewis got the RBI with a ground out to plate Kaitlyn Johnson from third base. That, however, would be all for the Eagles who fell 7-2.
Georgia Southern and Western Carolina will square off in the decisive third game of the series on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. from the Catamount Softball Complex.