While most of the students enjoyed a week of relaxation and sunshine this past week, the Georgia Southern softball team played a total of nine games. The Eagles went 4-5 over the break, including a big win against Texas.
The Eagles kicked off the break by sweeping a doubleheader against New Mexico. In game one of the series, senior Brooke Red pitched a masterful game, allowing a season low three hits and just one earned run. The Eagles pushed two runs across in the top of the ninth to take a 4-2 win.
The Eagles offense came alive in the second game as the team grabbed an early 4-0 lead off of the team’s 10 hits. Freshman Kierra Camp had another solid outing in the circle, allowing two runs on seven hits and a strikeout.
When the offense is clicking, the Eagles are a hard team to beat. The pitching has steadily improved all season, and the defense played well enough to protect the lead when the Eagles could get it. The problem is that the Eagles offense just hasn’t been there game in and game out.
The Eagles then traveled to face Louisiana Lafayette in their second series in the Sun Belt. Hitting and poor defense caught up to the Eagles, and they collected just nine hits and committed five errors in the series, and were swept by the Ragin’ Cajuns. The pitching staff also struggled, giving up six home runs and a combined 29 hits in the series.
The Eagles then traveled to face against the Texas Longhorns in arguably the Eagles toughest test since the first weekend when they competed in the Seminole Classic. But the girls were up to the task, and took down the Longhorns 3-1.
Kierra Camp tossed one of her best games of the year, a one-run complete game against the Longhorns. She added a career high six strikeouts and worked around five walks to keep the Longhorns in check.
“It was big win for our program and Georgia Southern. It always is when you can go in and beat someone at their place, and Texas is a very good team. I thought we had a great team win,” head coach Annie Smith said.
Indeed, it was what the Eagles needed coming off the losses against ULL. The Longhorns took a 1-0 lead in the third, but the Eagles offense responded in the fourth and scored two runs off back-to-back doubles from Alesha Mann and Breana McLendon.
Emily Snider blasted a solo home run in the seventh to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead. The Longhorns put a runner on third base in the bottom of the seventh, but Camp locked in and got two groundouts to give the Eagles the win.
“Kierra [Camp] pitched a great game, and we got some big hits. Brianna [McLendon] and Alesha [Mann] had some great hits,” Smith said.
The Eagles looked to build off the momentum when they took to the road to take on conference foe UT Arlington. In the first game of the series, the Eagles defense committed four errors that led to four unearned runs. The offense couldn’t string many hits together, and the team fell 1-7.
Camp came out strong again in the second game, and the Eagles took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning. But the Eagles came up just short, as UTA scored a run in the sixth to tie the game, and another in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
The final game proved to be a high scoring affair. The teams traded leads throughout the game, but the Eagles prevailed with a final score of 13-10. The Eagles used three different pitchers and collected 17 hits to get the win. It was the Eagles first win in the Sun Belt.
The Eagles are now 8-21 on the season, including a 1-8 conference record. Despite the record, the Eagles have competed pretty much every series. They have only played three series in the Sun Belt, so the Eagles have many more to go in conference play.
The Eagles will travel to Athens to take on No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday. First pitch is at 6 p.m.