Softball slowly finding its rhythm

Robert George

The Georgia Southern Eagles were supposed to play in a tournament at North Carolina State this past weekend. However, due to bad weather across the country, Georgia Southern hosted the Eagle Classic II. They faced off against North Carolina, North Carolina State, Eastern Kentucky, Bradley and Dayton. The Eagles went 1-3 in the tournament.

GS vs EKU (L 3-6)

The Eagles fell 6-3 in their first game of the weekend in extra innings on a frigid Friday night. Trailing 3-1 entering the seventh inning, the Eagles rallied and scored two runs to tie the game and send it into extra innings. In the top of the ninth, EKU capitalized on an Eagle error and scored three runs in the top of the inning. The Eagles put runners on second and third, but struck out twice to end the game.

Taylor Rodgers had an excellent game, going 4-5 and scoring a run. Brooke Red pitched all nine innings and gave up six runs on 12 hits and six strikeouts and one walk.

“We’re right in every game,” head coach Annie Smith said. “We only started one senior today, so it’s a learning experience. I think we’re learning to play the game, we’re learning not to make the mistakes and get through it.”

GS vs UNC (L 0-9)

The Tar Heels jumped out in front 4-0 in the first inning and never looked back, winning the game 9-0 in five innings. Kierra Camp started at pitcher for the Eagles, but couldn’t get out of the first inning, giving up four earned runs on three hits, including a 2-run bomb to Jenna Kelly.

Heather Felt relieved her and pitched the final four innings, giving up four earned runs on four hits and three walks.

GS vs Bradley (W 3-2)

Up to this game, the Eagles were 0-3 in games that went to extra innings. But, in the nightcap of Saturday’s action, Lindsey Wilcox drove a ball off the left field fence in the bottom of the ninth inning that drove in Emily Snider to give the Eagles a 3-2 win.

The game was a pitcher’s duel early, as neither team scored in the first four innings. Brooke Red and Alyson Spinas-Valainis were strong in the first four frames keeping both teams off the board. The Braves finally broke through in the fifth inning and put a run on the board.

The Eagles loaded up the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but couldn’t get any runs across. They finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth on a Breanna McLendon single that drove in A.J. Hamilton. Neither team scored in the seventh, sending the game into extras.

Brooke Red pitched all nine innings and racked up 10 strikeouts while scattering eight hits and two walks. Breanna McLendon went 2-4 with an RBI double in the sixth inning. Lexi Allen went a perfect 4-4 at the plate and made some great plays in the field late in the game.

GS vs Dayton (L 1-3)

The Eagles lost 1-3 to Dayton the final game of the Eagle Classic II. Heather Felt took the mound for the Eagles and gave up three runs in the top of the first. Kierra Camp relieved her and pitched five shutout innings on just three hits and one walk.

The Eagles got on the board with a solo home run from Lindsey Wilcox in the third, but didn’t score the rest of the game. The Eagles put the ball in play, but couldn’t string enough hits together to put pressure on the Dayton defense.

Both Heather Felt and Kierra Camp are freshmen who are getting a lot of innings this year. Coach Smith is happy with how they’re improving.

“Everytime you put them out there, game experience is what they need,” Smith said. “They’re getting better as we go.”