GREENSBORO, N.C. — For the second-straight day Georgia Southern Softball needed 11 innings to win, but this time the game-winner came in the form of a Kourtny Thomas solo home run. The junior’s heroics clinched the second-straight SoCon Tournament Championship for the Eagles and guaranteed a repeat trip to the NCAA Tournament. Sarah Purvis blanked UNCG for 11 innings to pick up her 17th win of the season as the Eagles dismissed UNCG 1-0.
“That was another incredible game,” said Head Coach Annie Smith. “I’m so happy for our seniors to get another trip to the NCAA Tournament next weekend. Sarah Purvis pitched another great game and Kourtny Thomas hit a great pitch out of the park to get the win.”
After 21 consecutive scoreless half innings to start the game, Kourtny Thomas broke the deadlock in the bottom of the 11th inning when she thundered the 0-1 pitch over the wall in left center. The no-doubter was her 12th of the season and gave the Eagles their third trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Championship is Georgia Southern wins its fourth SoCon Softball Tournament Championship which ranks for second-most in the league all-time.
Sarah Purvis pitched a gem, tossing a four-hit shutout, her eighth of the season to get the win. She improves to 17-14 on the season and struck out three against two walks. The SoCon Pitcher of the Year earned a spot on the SoCon All-Tournament Team.
Georgia Southern nearly took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning with when Kaitlyn Johnson got to third base with one out in the inning. Gabrielle Story hit a pinch hit fielders’ choice to third as Johnson broke for home. The sophomore right fielder was cut down by the throw to the dish as the score stayed at 0-0 through five frames.
The Eagles found themselves in a spot of bother in the top of the seventh when UNCG got a runner on second base with one out which was followed by a two-out walk. Sarah Purvis, however, struck out SoCon Freshman of the Year Lindsay Thomas to dismiss the threat and bring the Eagles to the plate in the eighth.
Purvis was joined on the All-Tournament team by Brooke Red who pitched an 11-inning gem of her own, Thomas who hit the game-winning home run and Shelby Morrill who hit .500 in the tournament, going 10-for-20.
Next up is the 2013 NCAA Tournament with the selection show set for 10 p.m. tonight. The selection show can be seen on ESPNU.