Eagles prepare for three-peat

Hayden Boudreaux

 

The Georgia Southern University softball team is preparing to take the Southern Conference championship for the third year in a row before they depart to the Sun Belt Conference.

After the first week of spring training the Eagles are already itching to get back onto the diamond. After being defeated in the second round of the NCAA tournament they are ready to return with a vengeance. On the road to a three-peat the team will look for senior pitcher Sarah Purvis to take them all the way.

Purvis is entering her final season after a stellar showing with the Eagles last year. As a junior, Purvis had a 1.83 ERA along with two shutouts and one perfect game. Her performance over the season earned her a second SoCon Pitcher of the Year award.

With all of her career accomplishments it would be easy for Purvis to relax and just keep doing what she has been doing. Instead, she has set even higher goals for herself.

“I have a bunch of personal goals for myself; I want to be an All-American, throw five shutouts, and two perfect games,” Purvis said.

The Eagles weren’t only strong on the mound last season. By the end of the year their fielding percentage of .971 led the SoCon and it is a lot to build on for 2014. Fielding has continued to be a focus during spring training.

“Our fielding is why we won so many games last season. Defense wins championships, so we have been really fine tuning ours,” Purvis said.

While defense does win championships, it’s important to have an offense that can generate runs. Senior infielder/outfielder Shelby Morrill led the team last season with a .340 batting average and recorded seven home runs on the year.

Following behind Morrill is senior infielder Kortny Thomas. Thomas finished the year playing in every game and with an average of .254 and a team-high 12 home runs. Thomas has big ambitions for her senior year, but she is the most excited by the conference competition.

“I just really want to three-peat, to go out on top in the last year of the conference would just be amazing,” Thomas said.

The Eagles will take the diamond for the first time this season on Feb. 7, in a tournament here in Statesboro, facing off against Oakland College, North Colorado University and the University of Tennessee