Softball's Pitchers Tame UNC Greensboro
The two wins make head coach Natalie Poole Georgia Southern’s all-time winningest head coach. In seven seasons she has a 202-207 overall record to surpass Bill Speith at the top of the list.
“I was quite surprised; I didn’t know anything about it,” said Poole. “It’s definitely something that I’m proud of, but more than that I’m excited that this team is going to continue to win. Hopefully in my career I’ve got some more wins to put up. I’m in this for the long-haul.”
GSU has now won five straight and improve to 27-22 overall and 7-4 in the SoCon. UNCG drops to 14-24 and 1-7.
“I felt like Mel (Laliberte) commanded her pitches and commanded the game,” said Poole. “I never felt like they got a piece of her which is good because we’re going to need that going in to tomorrow. Megen (Smith) threw a good game and got some offense there at the end and overall I thought she did a good job as well. We had minimal walks which contributed to our success.”
Senior Melissa Laliberte (Cobourg, Ontario, Canada) tossed a two-hit shutout in game one and freshman Megen Smith (Springfield, Ga.) gave up one run on four hits in game two. Laliberte (13-7) gets her league-leading 13th win of the season and lowers her ERA to a conference-best 1.55. The two hits she gave up matches her best over seven innings all season.
“She had their hitters’ number,” Poole said about Laliberte’s performance. “She did a good job of working ahead and threw her pitches where she wanted. She just looked good from the start.”
Junior Michelle Beasley (Metter, Ga.) accounted for the only run in the opener with her fourth homer of the season, a solo shot in the third. Laliberte tallied six of her nine strikeouts after getting the lead and allowed just two runners to second base all afternoon.
“We hardly created any offense at all in the first game,” said Poole. “We really weren’t giving ourselves an opportunity in terms of adjustments. (Beasley’s) hit made us feel like we had something to protect in the game. She made a nice adjustment after the first swing and had a really nice shot in the left-center gap.”
Smith made just one mistake, a solo homer to Lyndsay Mouse in the fourth inning. She settled down after that and retired the next seven batters and nine of the next 10.
The Eagles broke the game open with three runs in the seventh, taking advantage of an error and a wild pitch. The first three batters reached base and all scored. The final run came home on a Sam Russo (Snellville, Ga.) single.
“It seemed like almost every inning we had runners on and runners in scoring position but couldn’t score the runs,” said Poole. “But we were finally able to piece it together at the end.”
The series concludes Sunday with a single game starting at 1 p.m.
- Category: Softball
- Published on Saturday, 12 April 2008 00:07