The Georgia Southern Softball opens its 27th season on Friday in the Coastal Carolina Kickin’ Chicken Classic from Conway, S.C. The Eagles were picked to finish third in the Southern Conference in a poll of the league’s head coaches a week ago. This weekend, the Eagles open the 2012 campaign against George Washington (Noon) and Marshall (2 p.m.) on Friday before facing Marshall (4:30 p.m.) and George Mason (6:30 p.m.) on Saturday afternoon. The weekend closes out against Coastal Carolina on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
This weekend’s games are the debut for first year head coach Annie Smith, who leads the Eagles on the field for the first time. During the 2011 fall season, Georgia Southern finished an undefeated 8-0, including a pair of one run victories over Georgia Tech.
The Eagles swept the league’s preseason plaudits with Marie Fogle being named SoCon Preseason Player of the Year and sophomore Allie Miles earning Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Fogle, who earned First Team All-SoCon honors a year ago, hit .351 with 14 home runs to rank second in the league. Miles earned SoCon Freshman of the Year honors last season and led the league with 170 total strikeouts.
The 2012 squad is accented with 10 newcomers including a few that are expected to earn playing time immediately. Sophomore Kourtny Thomas is a transfer from Tennessee that hit .474 in the fall season with three home runs and three doubles. She will get the start at shortstop on opening day. Two new pitchers, Marla Thompson and Brooke Red, should see plenty of playing time early in the year. Thompson had a 0.47 ERA in the fall while Red won three games in the fall.
Following the opening weekend of play, Georgia Southern returns home for an in-state grudge match against Georgia State. The battle of the GSU’s doubleheader starts on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. from Eagle Field in Statesboro.
GHSA to stream swimming & diving championships
ATLANTA — The GHSA Network will stream the GHSA boys and girls swimming and diving championships live from the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11. All swimming and diving finals events will be streamed LIVE at www.GHSA.tv, archived for on demand viewing and DVDs will be available for purchase.
The GHSA Network is a partnership between the GHSA and PlayOn! Sports that features live streaming and on-demand coverage of high school sports in Georgia online. The GHSA.tv video portal provides fans access, at no charge, to a wide variety of events, all of which will be archived and available for on demand viewing and for purchase as DVDs.
The schedule of live streaming coverage of the 2012 GHSA Swimming and Diving Championship finals from the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center is:
Screven tennis starts strong
Both the Screven County boys and girls won their season openers Thursday over Savannah Christian.
The Lady Gamecocks won their match, 4-1, while the boys prevailed in a 3-2 victory.
Lovey Sheppard, and Mallorie Boswell took singles victories for the girls with the tandems of Jancy Durrence/Haley Mock and Pam Wooten/Karey Lane winning points at doubles.
For the boys, Clay Kirkland and Jacob Larisey teamed up for the only doubles point and both Chris Powell and Daniel Weaver notched singles victories.
Both teams will be back in action as they host Jefferson County next Thursday.
GSU Track & Field heads to Clemson
The Eagles will look to continue the success of the Indoor season as they head to Clemson for the Tiger Paw Invitational. GSU had last weekend off after participating in the Birmingham Invitational Jan 25-26. The events will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
The SoCon released its mid-season power rankings last week. The conference ranked Georgia Southern third, behind only Appalachian State and Samford.
Freshmen Taylor Wade and Sara Hall hope to continue their success this season. Wade won the SoCon Women's Indoor Athlete of the Week for the week of Jan 26 - Feb 1, and Hall has the top throw in conference this season (11.25/43).
GSU will be looking for consistency in its execution, and expect the Tiger Paw Invite to be very good for the team. This is the last meet of the Indoor season before the SoCon Indoor Championships.
BA boys advance
Bulloch Academy was dominant in its frist game at the Region 3-AAA tournament, crushing Trinity Christian by a score of 85-39.
Themba Twala led the way for the Gators with 22 points.
Bulloch continues in its quest for a region championship today as it takes on Westminster at 5:30 p.m.