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Local Roundup: Jeff Davis bests Screven

From staff reports

    HAZELHURST — The Screven County Lady Gamecocks (15-1) lost their first game of the season to the Jeff Davis Lady Yellow Jackets Friday, 6-5 on the road.
    Errors plagued the Gamecocks as all six runs scored by the Jackets in the non-region game were unearned. The five runs scored for the Gamecocks were scored on five hits. No Gamecock had more than one hit.
    Screven pitcher Marla Thompson struck out 10.
Screven returns to action Thursday at 5 p.m. in Swainsboro.

GSU falls to Georgia State
    The Georgia Southern Women’s Soccer team fell 3-0 to Georgia State on Friday at Eagle Field. The Eagles took seven shots in the contest, putting three on goal, but couldn’t find the back of the net against the Panthers.
    Kyrstin Smith, Alex Murphy and McKenna Storey all had good looks, but Georgia State goalkeeper Heidi Blankenship was able to make the save each time. With the loss, the Eagles fell to 1-2-0 on the season, while Georgia State improved to 3-0-0.
    Erinique Owens put the Panthers on the board first, stealing the ball in the attacking third. She dribbled into the six-yard box and chipped the ball over Georgia Southern goalkeeper Katie Merson who was diving to take the ball off Owens’ feet in the 13th minute.
    Georgia State put the game away with a second goal in the 79th minute by Jewel Evans. Alyssia Feronti started the play, sending a through ball into the box. Evans out-raced two defenders to reach the ball first and send it into the right side of the net. The Panthers netted a third goal on a free-kick from Stephanie Cuccia from 25 yards out in the 83rd minute.
    Merson started the game in goal, allowing one goal, and was replaced at halftime by Missy Meyer. Meyer made the Eagles’ lone save, but gave up two goals.
    Blankenship played 63 minutes and 50 seconds in goal for the Panthers, making three saves.
    Georgia Southern will face Charleston Southern Sunday at 2 p.m. at Eagle Field before traveling to Birmingham, Ala., for a pair of games. The Eagles will face Tennessee Tech on Friday, and Kennesaw State Sept. 12.
Southern Mississippi bests GSU

    MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Bethany Sanford collected a team-high 19 kills, but could not push Georgia Southern past Southern Mississippi in the opening match of the MT Blue Raider Bash on Friday. Trailing 2-1, the Golden Eagles battled back to take the win in five sets, 3-2. Georgia Southern moved to 2-2 on the season, while USM improved to 4-0.
     Sanford led the Eagles with 19 kills, posting her second double-double of the season with 12 digs. The junior added three block assists and a service ace, while sophomore Moriah Bellissimo added 13 kills and 10 digs. Junior transfer Ashley Roe  tied Sanford for the team-high with 12 digs as sophomore setter Kate Van Dyke posted a match-high 51 assists. Freshman Enjoli Johnson making her first appearance as an Eagle, posted six block assists and a solo block.
    For the Golden Eagles, Ashley Mell led with a match-high 24 kills, while Lisa Knecht recorded 20 digs. Kelsea Seymour posted 48 assists.
     After dropping the first set, 25-13, the Eagles evened the match grabbing the second, 25-22. Southern Mississippi took a 3-0 lead out of the gate, but Georgia Southern brought the match back to within one point twice before the Golden Eagles took a three-point advantage at 6-3. The teams traded the lead through a 12-12 tie before USM pulled away with a 17-13 advantage using a quartet of kills. The Eagles reciprocated with a 6-2 run of their own to knot the score at 19-19. Two service aces and a kill from the Golden Eagles put USM back in front, 22-19, before the Eagles surged ahead and closed out the set win on a 6-1 run. Sanford posted three kills in the run which was ignited by a Parker Small kill.
    Georgia Southern took its final lead in the third set following a 2-2 tie. USM kept the match close, trailing by one at 14-13 moments before the Eagles pulled away, leading 17-14. A service error from the Golden Eagles jumpstarted a 7-1 Eagle run as Georgia Southern took a 23-15 lead. USM posted three unanswered, but Johnson and Hannah Nelson closed out the set for the Eagles, 25-19.
    The Eagles took a 3-1 lead to open set four, but the Golden Eagles tied the set six times before taking a two-point lead, 12-10. Georgia Southern knotted the score three times, regaining the lead at 18-15. Tied at 19-apiece, a Mell kill returned the advantage to the Golden Eagles who finished out the set, 25-22, to force a deciding fifth set.
    Small started the fifth set with a kill, but USM responded with four unanswered for a 4-1 lead. Sanford drew the set back to a one-point contest, 5-4, and a ball handling error by Lauren Sears tied the set at 6-all. The Eagles held strong after a 3-2 USM run set the score at 9-8, pulling the match back to one point at 11-10. But the Golden Eagles sealed the match win, 15-11.
    Georgia Southern continues tournament action on Saturday facing two Atlantic Coast Conference foes for the first time. The Eagles face off against Duke at 4 p.m. and wrap up the tournament with an 8 p.m. matchup against Miami.
     If you have a score to report, call the Statesboro Herald Sports desk at (912) 489-9408.