Eagles head to Columbia for another SEC opponent

Hayden Boudreaux

Following the tension-filled loss against No. 1 University of Alabama, the Georgia Southern University softball team will get its chance for redemption against the University of South Carolina tonight.

The Gamecocks have alternated between two pitchers almost equally all season. Junior pitcher Julie Sarratt has compiled a 2.93 ERA and four saves this season. Her experience could land her on the mound against the Eagles. Freshman Nickie Blue also has a chance of throwing tonight. Blue has a record of 16-7 but has allowed 3.23 runs per game.

With their pitchers averaging over three runs per game South Carolina has relied on their batting attack all season. This attack is led by senior utility player Ashlyn Masters with her .374 average and .626 slugging percentage. Freshman first baseman Kaylea Snaer leads the team in home runs with eight and RBIs with 35.

While the Gamecocks are not on the level of the Crimson Tide, they do have six batters with averages over .300 and every batter has at least one home run. The Gamecocks moved up over the weekend to No. 37 in the country.

Senior pitcher Sarah Purvis will look to be the answer to the Gamecock lineup. The game against Alabama pushed up her ERA to 1.94 but it also brought her to 215 strikeouts, which is the fifth highest amount of strikeouts in the country. Purvis expected to only get three more games under her belt before the Southern Conference tournament.

GSU batters have had their share of success this season as well. Senior shortstop Kourtny Thomas leading the team with 14 home runs and a staggering 44 RBIs. Senior Shelby Morrill could be a determining factor the rest of this season. Morrill has had a steady season with a .528 slugging percentage and has started every game this season.

The Eagles will have their work cut out for them tonight. The latest polls from ESPN have them ranked at 57th in the country and there is still plenty of time to climb.

The final out-of-conference game of the regular season for the Eagles will begin tonight at 6 p.m. in Columbia, S.C.