The 2012 regular season comes to an end this weekend for Georgia Southern Softball with a trip to Pepsi Field and a three-game set against the Furman Paladins. The teams will play once on Saturday, a 1 p.m. matinee, to accommodate Furman's Commencement Ceremony which begins at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday the teams will be back at it for a doubleheader which starts at 11 a.m.
Georgia Southern leads the Southern Conference with a 19-2 league mark and a 35-17 overall record. The Eagles are ahead of second place Chattanooga (17-2 SoCon) on winning percentage due to the fact that the Mocs have played two fewer games. GSU has a magic number of three entering the final week of the season, needing to win three games or a combination of victories and Chattanooga losses to UNCG equaling or exceeding three.
Sarah Purvis needs just two strikeouts to match Cary Moone's 2004 school record of 206 strikeouts. Overall, she is 18-9 on the year with a 1.64 ERA. Allie Miles has recovered from a rough start to the season to win her last three games without allowing a run. She has gone the last 20.1 innings without allowing a run. The streak has allowed her to lower her ERA to 2.34 on the season, a mark that bests her 2011 ERA of 2.74.
Marie Fogle hit her eighth home run of the year last week against Elon. She leads the GSU offense with a .405 batting average. In league play, Fogle is hitting .448 with a .776 slugging percentage. In her career, Fogle is slugging .555, putting her in position to set the school record for career slugging percentage. Her .345 career batting average is good enough for third-best all-time at GSU.
The Paladins are in a three-way tie for seventh place with Western Carolina and Samford at 6-15 this year. The three teams are vying to avoid the play-in-game to the SoCon Tournament between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds. The Paladins hit .307 last weekend against Chattanooga, hitting three home runs, but lost all three games to the Mocs. Nikki Legg led the Paladins with a 7-for-12 weekend while Jessie Homesley hit a home run in game two on Saturday and was 3-for-3 with a walk on Sunday. Both are hitting over .300 on the year with Legg at .338 and Homesley at .333
Georgia Southern has a 56-31 lead in the all-time series which dates back to the 1988 season. GSU has won the last five games against Furman. Last season, GSU won the opener 9-1 in six innings, but went to extra innings to take 1-0 wins in games two and three of the series at Eagle Field.
The 2012 Southern Conference Tournament begins on May 9th in Boone, N.C. The Eagles will finish as either he No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the tournament. Game times and opponent will be confirmed on Sunday evening following the conclusion of conference play.