Softball drops series to ranked conference opponent

Amanda Arnold

The Georgia Southern softball team was swept on Eagle Field this weekend by No. 10 University of Louisiana-Lafayette in a three game series.

Though it was a tough set of losses, GS performed well. Louisiana leads the Sun Belt with no conference losses. This series extended the team’s winning streak to six and helped them sustain their first place spot in the conference.

GS was led by junior outfielders outfielders Shelby Wilson and Mekhia Freeman on bat, with junior catcher/ infielder Logan Harrell, senior infielder Hannah Farrell, freshman first baseman Faith Shirley, and sophomore catcher Allyssah Mullis adding in hits throughout the weekend.

During Friday night’s game, both teams struggled on bat behind strong pitching from sophomore pitcher Rylee Waldrep and junior Ragin’ Cajun Summer Ellyson, who made the 2018 All Sun Belt First Team. The first five innings were scoreless, until Louisiana’s Sarah Hudek broke the streak and finally scored in the sixth with help from four hits by her teammates.

GS was never able to make a run and lost 2-0.

Saturday afternoon, GS started off the game slow as Louisiana scored four runs in the first inning. There were a few pitching changes in the game, as the team switched from freshman Jodi Handler to freshman Shelby Barfield in the second inning, to senior Kaylee Ramos in the fourth.

Mekhia Freeman and Faith Shirley’s hits ran in two batters to put GS at two runs in the second inning, now trailing 5-2. Junior Shayla Smith was dynamic on defense in this game. She contributed three puts outs at crucial times to hold Louisiana to just one more run of the game.

GS was defeated 6-3.

In the series finale, both teams were held scoreless for the first three innings. Once again, Sarah Hudek broke the tie with a home run in the fourth. GS went into the seventh inning down by three and ignited a rally. With bases loaded, a walk by Macy Weeks brought home a GS run, but it was not enough to take a victory, due to Ellyson striking out the rest of the GS batters. The final score was a close 3-1.

GS falls to 16-18 overall and 3-9 in the conference. The Eagles are now on a five game losing streak. GS will play their first game of April In Monroe, Louisiana against a 5-29 UL Monroe team on Friday. ULM is tied with South Alabama for last place in the conference, while GS is tied with rival Georgia State for second to last.

Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Sports Reporter,