No three-peat for Eagles

Katie Tolbert

The group of girls that made the Georgia Southern University softball program what it is today ended their season in the Southern Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed but fell in the semifinals to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The Eagles had a rocky ending to their regular season play with three losses in the last two series. Needless to say, the Eagles entered the tournament as the number one seed. This team has seven seniors and many of them saw this possible third consecutive tournament win as their season goal.

The Eagles started the tournament with the poise and consistency they are known to bring to the field, with a 4-0 win against No. 8 Elon University and a 3-0 win against No. 4 Samford University.

Senior pitcher Sarah Purvis started the tournament meaning business. She threw a no-hitter which made history as the first ever no-hitter in SoCon tournament play. Just a day after making history, Purvis proceeded to pitch another shutout victory.

In both of these victories for the Eagles, GSU was able to begin earning runs early on, but this changed once the semifinals started. The Eagles were looking to get a spot in the championship game, but UNCG was the team to take the lead from the start.

GSU was able to tie the Spartans in the sixth inning, but UNCG was able to get runners off bases and produce behind the plates better than the Eagles in this game. This 1-2 loss for GSU forced them into an elimination game against the Spartans for a championship spot

Shortly after the Eagles tough loss, the game to decide the championship matchup began. This was not the best way for this Eagle team to go out. Purvis began pitching, but quickly handed the circle over to junior pitcher Brooke Red after allowing three runs in the second inning.

UNCG was showing no mercy behind the plate, continuing to earn run after run throughout the entire game. UNCG’s Lindsay Thomas hit a three-run homerun in the third inning that brought their lead to 8-1 and brought senior pitcher Allie Miles in the circle to take over for Red.

This Eagle team did not show up at the plate like they are known to do, so UNCG took advantage of that and ended the game and the Eagles’ season with a total of 11 runs to GSU’s 2 runs.

“Today’s games were a tough way to end the season. We had a great year to win another SoCon Championship, but it hurts to end it this way. I’d like to thank our senior class for everything they have done for this program,” Head Coach Annie Smith said in a news release.

GSU is losing seven seniors, but it still has over a dozen of high-talent athletes. The Georgia Southern class of 2014 will forever be remembered as the group with the most wins in program history with two SoCon Regular Season Championships and two SoCon Tournament Championships.