Cougars and Eagles come into the series as two of the league’s top teams
MT. PLEASANT, SC March 21, 2013 – The College of Charleston softball team returns to Southern Conference action with a pivotal three-game set against Georgia Southern this weekend. Both teams come in to the series near the top of the league standings for a doubleheader on Saturday and single game on Sunday. First pitch from Patriots Point is scheduled for 1 p.m. on both days.
Georgia Southern (14-16, 3-0 SoCon) @ College of Charleston (13-10, 5-1 SoCon)
Saturday, March 23 • 1 p.m. (doubleheader)
Sunday, March 24 • 1 p.m.
Patriots Point (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)
Webstream – Live Stats – Twitter
The Cougars won their second straight SoCon series last weekend by taking two of three games against Elon at Patriots Point. CofC swept the Saturday doubleheader behind both an explosive offense and shutdown pitching out of starters Hope Klicker (Walla Walla, Wash.) and Stephanie Saylors (Easley, S.C.).
Both pitchers both threw complete games and earned the victories in the circle. Klicker struck out eight hitters and only allowed one earned run in the first game and Saylors didn’t surrender any earned runs in her outing.
From the plate on Saturday, every single batter in the lineup got at least one hit in the first game, and nine of ten hitters had at least one hit in the second game.
A Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) grand slam and a Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) two-run homer put game one out of reach, and Lizzy Vaughn (Placerville, Calif.) hit her first homerun of the season to spark a come-from-behind victory in game two.
The Cougars sparked another come-from-behind rally to claim a brief lead late in game three, but a three-run Phoenix seventh erased the lead and thwarted the Cougars’ sweep bid. Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) belted another homer, her sixth of the year, to tie the game in the fifth and Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) and Chandler Frisbie (Lawrenceville, Ga.) also provided RBIs in the losing effort.
Hodgson has been a tough hitter to get out recently and rides a four-game hit streak heading into the series. The junior third baseman now has a team-high .354 batting average and also leads the team in extra-base hits (14), homers (6) and RBIs (20).
Frisbie, a freshman, is on a three-game hitting streak and hitting .339 on the year, the second best mark on the Cougars.
The magic number defensively this season has been three, as the Cougars are 13-0 when their opponents score three or less runs, and 0-10 when they surrender four or more runs.
The importance of scoring early runs and building early-inning leads has been highlighted this season. CofC is 5-0 when leading after the first innings and 7-0 when leading after the second inning, while 2-6 when trailing after one inning and 3-10 when trailing after two innings.
Limiting the long ball has also been important for Cougar pitchers this season, and CofC is 11-1 when keeping the opponents in the ballpark and 2-9 when giving up homers.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
Georgia Southern comes into the games looking to put the brakes on a four-game losing skid. The Eagles were off from SoCon play last weekend, so the team participated in the FSU Tournament in Tallahassee, Fla., and lost four games to Minnesota and Florida State.
The Eagles completed their spring break run with a trip to Baton Rouge, La., for a doubleheader against No. 13 LSU. GSU was overwhelmed in an 8-0 five-inning loss in game one of the twinbill, but the Eagles looked much better in a 3-2 loss in the finale.
The Eagles took a 2-0 game-two lead with a two RBI double by Tabby Douberley in the first inning, but the Tigers would claw their way back to complete the sweep. GSU pitchers Allie Miles and Sarah Purvis would hold the Tigers to six hits in the contest, but LSU manufactured a pair of runs in the first and plated the game winner with an RBI double in the third.
GSU is the only unbeaten team in SoCon play after sweeping Elon two weekends ago. The Eagles pulled out a thrilling 8-5 victory in an 11-inning game one, and then went on to 6-4 and 5-2 victories to cap off the weekend.
Shelby Morrill has paced the GSU bats this season with a .345 batting average as the regular designated player. Douberley leads the team in RBIs with 21 and bats .299 on the season with a team-high 11 extra-base hits and .495 slugging percentage. Junior Kourtny Thomas leads the team with seven homers on the year.
Purvis, a junior and the SoCon Preseason Pitcher of the Year, has maintained a 2.37 ERA through 94.1 innings of work this season. She has struck out 113 hitters against just 49 walks with her opponents batting .199.
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE FOR THE SERIES
The production team will be back in action this weekend with a full web-based broadcast of the games. The production will be available through CofCSports.com as well as live stats with animated play-by-play.
The broadcast requires a subscription but the live stats are available at no charge.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS
Another great way of keeping up with the CofC softball team is through the team’s own Twitter account (@CofCSoftball). The account provides pictures, team activities, statuses when the team is on the road and in-game thoughts and updates.