Eagles Rally to Force Extra Innings Against Middle Tennessee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Georgia Southern Softball dropped a heartbreaker to Middle Tennessee State 9-7 in 12 innings in the consolation game of Florida State's Garnet and Gold Tournament at JoAnne Graf Field. A 3-0 Eagle lead slipped away as the Blue Raiders posted seven unanswered runs in the middle innings. Georgia Southern rallied with four runs in the sixth to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Middle Tennessee posted two runs in the 12th inning to secure the win. Sunday's game was the Eagles' best offensive performance of the season in runs (7) and hits (16).
Georgia Southern (4-7) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Marie Fogle (Rincon, Ga.) homered in GSU's first at-bat of the game. The Eagles extended their lead in the second inning to 3-0 when Andrea Tarashuk (Flemington, N.J.) singled to lead off the inning. Jorie Walker (Dublin, Ga.) advanced Nicole Benton (Wrightsville, Ga.), who was pinch running for Tarashuk, to second base with a sacrifice bunt. Tabby Douberley (Clyo, Ga.) earned a walk and Hanna Ennis (Snellville, Ga.) singled to load the bases. Alexa Lewis (Lawrenceville, Ga.) brought Benton and Douberley home with an RBI single.
Middle Tennessee State would respond in the top of the third inning. A single by Kayla Toney scored two runs to get the Blue Raiders within one run. In the fourth inning, Middle Tennessee scored four runs to take its first lead of the game, 6-3. The Blue Raiders put another run on the board in the sixth when Kelsey Dortch scored on a single by Abel for the 7-3 MTSU lead.
With the bases loaded with Eagles and one out in the bottom of the sixth, Ennis smacked a double to left-center to put three runs on the board. Tarashuk had singled to left field to open the frame and Walker reached on an infield error. Douberley's hard single up the middle grazed the Blue Raiders' pitcher to stack the bases for Ennis. Fogle drove in Ennis for the tying run on a hot-shot down the left field line. GSU left Fogle stranded on second.
Middle Tennessee State reclaimed the lead in the 12th inning. Brittney Banania single with one out to start the Blue Raider rally. Nina Davenport singled to left field putting runners in scoring position. A single by Abel brought in the winning runs.
Shelby Morrill (Madison, Ga.) singled to lead off the bottom of the 12th inning and Walker followed with a bunt single. Douberley loaded the bases with a Texas-league single. With one out in the inning, Lewis flew out to center. A quick throw to second base retired Walker, who had wandered too far away from second, to end the game.
The 12-inning affair ties the Georgia Southern record for the longest in program history, with a 4-3 loss to Centenary in 1992 ranking as the only other game.
The Eagles will play again next weekend in the War Eagle Classic at Jane B. Moore Field on the campus of Auburn. Georgia Southern will face Marshall, Auburn, Belmont, Middle Tennessee State and Murray State in a pool play tournament. The tournament starts for GSU on Friday, Feb. 25th at 11 a.m. EST against Marshall.
Fans may follow all the action of the 2011 Georgia Southern Softball season by visiting GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/softball or check in for scores at twitter.com/GSScores or facebook.com/GSAthletics for updates.
- Category: Softball
- Published on Sunday, 20 February 2011 19:10