Softball Holds on to Defeat Charleston
The second-seeded Eagles (36-28) move on to face No. 5 seed UNC Greensboro Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.
“I felt like if we went out and did our job we would be OK,” said GSU head coach Natalie Poole. “But in the back of my mind was the thought that, this is a team that fights and from what we knew about Charleston, don’t think that you have it in the bag because they are a fighting team and they’ll do whatever they can to fight their way back. All I can say is I’m thankful we had a good enough lead to be able to protect ourselves.”
Georgia Southern led 6-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh. The first four batters of the inning reached base and Shannon Howard chased Melissa Laliberte (Cobourg, Ontario, Canada) with a two-run double.
Smith relieved Laliberte (18-11) and retired the next two batters, but back-to-back errors extended the inning, bringing the Cougars to within one and putting runners on first and second. But Smith retired Kubinski on a 3-2 pitch to end the game to earn her first save.
“I thought (Smith) did an outstanding job,” said Poole. “She came in, got the groundballs we needed, got the outs that we needed; we just didn’t step up and make some plays. I think we were rushing a little bit and didn’t stay relaxed to be able to finish the job. But I thought she did a great job.”
Smith helped out at the plate as well with a three-run double in the fifth, part of a four-run inning that saw the Eagles get just one hit.
“I’m very proud of her,” said Poole. “She’s always aggressive, it’s just a matter of her making good contact, and she did. We had the bases loaded and she stepped up and made some things happen.”
GSU was helped by three CofC errors in the inning. Smith had the team’s only hit after two miscues and a walk.
Junior Amanda Hall (Haddock, Ga.) started the scoring in the second inning with a solo homer, her second in as many games in the tournament. She went 1-for-2 and scored three times.
Laliberte gave up eight hits and five runs in six innings of work. Her 18 wins are second-most in a single-season in school history, one shy of the record.
Howard (18-12) allowed six hits and six runs (two earned). She walked four and struck out five.
- Category: Softball
- Published on Thursday, 08 May 2008 00:19