Southern Drops Heartbreaker to No. 22 UNC in Extra Innings
ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia Southern Softball led No. 22 North Carolina entering the bottom of the sixth, but North Carolina scored a run in that frame and added an eighth-inning run to down Georgia Southern 2-1 on the first day of the NCAA Athens Softball Regional. UNC clinched the victory on a bases loaded hit by pitch which ended the contest in the eight inning. The Eagles face Coastal Carolina in an elimination game on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. from Georgia's Jack Turner Stadium.
"I thought it was a great game, I was happy with the way we competed," said Head Coach Annie Smith. "Sarah (Purvis) threw a great game, but we need to score more than one run to beat a very good team like North Carolina."
After three innings of scoreless ball to open the game, Georgia Southern scored the game's first run in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and second and two outs in the frame, Andrea Tarashuk (Flemington, N.J.) laced a single up the middle to score pinch runner Jorie Walker (Dublin, Ga.) from second base and give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
In the sixth inning a throwing error on a sacrifice attempt gave the Tar Heels an extra out to play with. UNC tied the game with one out on an RBI fielder's choice by Haleigh Dickey. She hit the ball to Kourtny Thomas (Warner Robins, Ga.) at shortstop, who fired the ball home where Wheeler scored on an obstruction call against Mackenzie Williams (Baxley, Ga.) at the plate. North Carolina would load the bases with two outs, but the Eagles got out of the jam to keep the game tied at 1-1.
UNC got a two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh and advanced the runner into scoring position on a wild pitch. A simple infield ground out sent the game to extra innings, Georgia Southern's first extra innings game in NCAA Tournament history.
The Eagles opened the eighth with a leadoff single up the middle by pinch hitter Shelby Morrill (Madison, Ga.). The Eagles, however, were unable to advance the runner and finished the frame with a runner stranded on first.
The Tar Heels got a hit from Dickey with one out in the seventh, and added another runner with a single down the left field line by Logan Foulks. A walk to the UNC designated player loaded the bases with one out in the inning. A pop up by Constance Orr behind the plate made it two outs. Jordan Scarboro was hit by the 1-0 pitch, handing the Tar Heels a 2-1 victory in eight innings.
Sarah Purvis (Warner Robins, Ga.) had a great outing, holding North Carolina to just six hits and one earned run. She struck out four, falling to 23-11 on the year.
Georgia Southern faces Coastal Carolina in an elimination contest at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Live video of all games in the Athens Regional can be viewed for free on GeorgiaDogs.com.
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- Category: Softball
- Published on Friday, 18 May 2012 04:37