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Local Roundup: Gamecock tennis off to Final Four
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                CAMILLA – Two years ago, a loss to Thomasville in the quarterfinals of the GHSA state playoffs marked the earliest that a Lady Gamecock tennis team had been sent home since 1995.

                Tuesday, Screven County made sure that history would not repeat itself as the Gamecocks defeated the Lady Bulldogs – the No. 1 seed out of Region 1-AA – by a 3-2 margin to advance to the Final Four in the AA classification.

                Playing against a Thomasville team that it had soundly defeated March 27 in the Golden Isles tournament, the Gamecocks (22-3) knew that a playoff matchup would present more of a challenge.

                In their previous meeting, the Bulldogs (15-7) were without the services of their top two players – both of whom were in action for Tuesday’s match.

                While both returned to notch victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots, the rest of the Gamecocks were all able to come up with wins to keep the season alive.

                Senior Katheryn Wells took the final singles point with a 6-1, 6-0 win clincher after the doubles pairs of Kelsey Forehand and Sydnee Weaver (6-2, 6-1) and Lauren Bazemore and Lauren Thomas (6-3, 6-3) won the early matches to put pressure on Thomasville.

                Before the Gamecocks could advance in the tournament, there was much doubt as to whether or not the match would be played.

                Originally scheduled to be played at Thomasville High School, heavy rains throughout the area forced the teams to seek a new venue.

                The city courts in Albany were considered, but more rain made those courts unplayable as well.

Finally, word came that the courts at Mitchell County High School were available and dry, and the teams were able to get play started around 3 p.m. after just a two hour delay.

With the win, the Gamecocks now advance to play the winner of today’s quarterfinal between Westminster and Lovett.

The Final Four matchup will be held Friday afternoon at Clayton County International Park.


Murray named pitcher of the week

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced Georgia Southern’s Matt Murray as the league’s Pitcher of the Week for all games from April 26 – May 2. Murray earns the third recognition for the Eagles this season as Andy Moye received the honor twice previously.

Right-handed pitcher Murray (Spring City, Pa.) helped complete a doubleheader sweep with a game two win at Furman on Saturday (May 1). Murray threw seven innings while allowing only three hits in the process. Only one run scored off Murray, who limited the Paladins to a .125 batting average. Murray struck out six batters in seven innings as Georgia Southern moved to 16-8 in the SoCon this season.

Murray has 12 appearances on the season with 56 strikeouts. His win over the weekend pushed him to 4-2 on the year. Murray has limited his opponents to a .297 batting average in 57.0 innings pitched.

This season the sophomore has recorded wins over Marshall, Appalachian State, UNC Greensboro and Furman.


Iduate earns SoCon honors

                SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Georgia Southern) - Nina Iduate was named Southern Conference Softball Player of the Week, league officials announced Monday, after leading Georgia Southern to a series sweep over Elon (May 1-2).

The senior shortstop from Norcross, Ga., led the Eagles offensively, hitting .700 with seven hits in ten at-bats in the three games. Iduate had a double, and also walked twice. She scored four runs and drove in three over the series.

In the first game, Iduate hit .500 with two RBIs, leading the Eagles to a 3-2 win, and followed it up with a 5-for-5 performance in game two Saturday. She also had an RBI and scored three times as the Eagles won 14-9. Iduate closed out the series going 1-for-3 on Sunday with a run scored in Georgia Southern’s 7-4 victory.

The award is the first of the season for Iduate and third weekly conference honor by an Eagle this season.

Georgia Southern wraps up the regular season with a three-game set at Furman. The Eagles and Paladins will square off Sunday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Game three is set for Monday at 1 p.m.


Screven to take on Jeff Davis

                Screven County will host Jeff Davis in the first round of the GHSA state baseball playoffs beginning Friday.

                As the No. 2 seed out of Region 3-AA, the Gamecocks (16-9) have earned home field advantage over the No. 3 seed Yellow Jackets (16-10).

                The teams will play a best-of-three series, with the winner moving on to play the winner of a first round matchup between Cook and Putnam County.

                This season offers a chance for some revenge for the Gamecocks.

                Last season, Screven rolled to a 20-8 record – including a region championship – before being swept out of the second round of the playoffs by Jeff Davis.

                The first game is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the second game will follow 30 minutes after the first game’s completion. If necessary, a third and deciding game will be played – also in Sylvania – Saturday at 3 p.m.