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Local Roundup: Gators get the best of No. 1 Stratford

    The Bulloch Academy Lady Gators stared down the No. 1 team in GISA Class AAA, the highest independent classification in the state, and left with the upper hand.
    The Lady Gators won Game 1 of a doubleheader 3-1 and tied 5-5 in Game 2 Friday against Stratford Academy.
    “We’ve played them three times now and taken two out of three,” said BA coach Chandler Dennard. “That’s a big step for our program. They’re the two-time defending state champion, and they returned everybody from last year. That’s a good, quality win for us. It’s like I told the girls, ‘Now we’ve got to keep it up. We’re not going to sneak up on anybody now.”
    Bulloch fell behind early in Game 1. Lauren Dennard walked the first batter she faced, who came around to score in the first inning to give Stratford a 1-0 lead.
    Dennard pitched masterfully after that, tossing a complete-game one hitter and striking out three.
    The Gators took the lead in the fourth inning. Paige Spence (2-for-4) got on board with a leadoff single. One out later, the Gators got three-straight hits by Haley Burke, Ashley Lanier and Dennard to plate three runs and seal the victory.
    The teams tied in the second game of the doubleheader to end the evening after the Gators clawed out of a 3-0 hole.
    Mary Margaret Reeves went 2-for-3 in the draw, and Lanier went 3-for-3.
    The Lady Gators host the Bulloch Bash, which takes place on campus at BA and at Georgia Southern’s softball fields, today and Saturday.

Jackets blank CDS
    BROOKLET — Freshman pitcher Sierra Peebles got her first career start for Southeast Bulloch Thursday, and she shut down Calvary Day.
    Peebles struck out 14 batters, going the distance with only two hits allowed as the Lady Yellow Jackets started the season with a 2-0 win.
    Nira Byrd went 1-for-3 and drove in Dallas McClellan. McClellan finished 1-for-2 with an RBI of her own.
    The Yellow Jackets (1-0) return to action Friday, Aug. 19 for the Warrior Blast Tournament at Tattnall County.

Monken to appear at Harvey's
    Georgia Southern head football coach Jeff Monken will be at Harvey’s on Fair Road in Statesboro on Saturday afternoon to sign autographs for fans. The event, presented by Coca-Cola and Harveys Supermarkets, runs from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Fans can bring items for the coach to sign or pick up commemorative mini posters.
    A representative from the Georgia Southern Athletics ticket office will be on hand to take orders for season tickets as well as single game tickets to the season opener at Samford on Sept. 3.

Three Eagles named HoF finalists
    MACON — The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame announced its list of 35 finalists eligible for induction with three Georgia Southern representatives included for 2012.
    All-America quarterback Tracy Ham, legendary Baseball Coach Jack Stallings and two-time All-American Chester Webb were among the individuals to advance to the Honors Court. The GSHF Honors Court meets in mid-September to make the final seven selections for the Class of 2012.
    Ham, a 2010 Canadian Football Hall of Fame and 2007 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, led Georgia Southern to back-to-back national championships in 1985 and 1986. He is the Eagles’ all-time leader in total offense (8,969 yards), passing (5,757 yards) and passing touchdowns (34) and holds numerous other marks. Stallings was the skipper of the Eagles for 24 seasons and recorded 858 wins during his tenure, guiding the Eagles to a World Series appearance (1990), five NCAA postseason appearances and seven conference titles. Webb played from 1952-56 under the Georgia Teachers College mantle and ranks as the all-time leading scorer (2,542 points) and rebounder (1,685) in the history of the program.
    The Screening Committee is made up of GSHF board members, hall of famers, sports media representatives and athletic administrators. After discussing each of the nominees, the members of the committee voted for the individuals they considered worthy of advancing as finalists for the induction class. The finalists receiving the highest number of votes in their respective categories will be forwarded to the Honors Court who will choose the seven individuals to be enshrined.
    The categories of football, baseball, and coach/manager lead the pack of finalists with seven, five, and five nominees respectively.  Four nominees in the basketball category and three golfers also made the cut. Among the remaining finalists are a gymnast, a boxer, a broadcaster, and two referees.

GSU's Hurst resigns
    Assistant Athletics Director/Media Relations Director Torye Hurst has resigned his position effective immediately.

Giambra joins GSU S&D staff
    Georgia Southern swimming and diving coach Nate Kellogg announced the addition of David Giambra as head diving Coach for the Eagles.
    The Clemson standout was a four-year letterwinner for the Tigers where he still holds school records in the one-meter and three-meter diving events.
    Giambra joins a rising Georgia Southern program which ranked 10th among all Division I women’s swimming and diving programs in the Avidasports Performance Rankings following the 2010-2011 season.
The Eagles’ academic achievements also earned recognition this past spring when the team achieved College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America status for the sixth consecutive semester.