JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Georgia Southern held late leads in both games one and two but could not hold on as North Florida sweeps the Eagles in Thursday’s doubleheader.
Georgia Southern fell 10-4 to North Florida in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader at the UNF Softball Complex.
The Eagles rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth taking a 4-3 lead, but the Ospreys took the lead right back in the bottom half of the inning. North Florida batted around in the bottom half of the sixth scoring seven runs on five straight hits including Airen Payne’s two RBI homer to left center.
Marie Fogle(Rincon, Ga.) continued her hot hitting from the Jacksonville doubleheader going two for three with a run scored.
Smith gave up the dreaded leadoff walk in the first inning but prevented any runner from reaching second after coaxing Ashley Battaglia to ground into an inning ending double play.
North Florida pushed a run across in the bottom of the second. Airen Payne earned a two-out free pass to start the rally. Payne reached third after back-to-back base hits loaded the bases and scored on Ariana Godwin’s full-count walk.
Smith got in more two-out trouble in the third after giving up back-to-back base hits but got out of the inning without any damage on a grounder back to the mound.
The Ospreys plated two more runs in the fifth inning on Kara Rutenbar’s bases-clearing double. Britanie Block led off the inning with a double to left and moved to third on Battaglia’s one-out single to left.
Georgia Southern responded with four runs in the top of the sixth. The Eagles led off the inning with three straight singles. Hanna Ennis(Snellville, Ga.) drove in Fogle with a base knock and got in a rundown trying to reach second, allowing Nina Iduate(Norcross, Ga.) to score from third. Robyne Siliga(Oceanside, Calif.) kept the rally going after the bases were emptied with a walk before Sam Russo(Snellville, Ga.) homered over the centerfield fence giving the Eagles their first lead of the ball game.
The Ospreys defeated Georgia Southern 5-4 in extra innings to complete the sweep of Thursday’s doubleheader.
Ariana Godwin was placed on second due to the international tie breaker rule and scored from there on Ashley Battaglia’s two-out walk-off single in the eighth inning.
The Eagles failed to score in the top half of the inning after Jordyn Nail(Swainsboro, Ga.) bunted Fogle to third. Fogle was caught in between third and home on a grounder back to the mound.
North Florida scored an early run in the third inning on Battaglia’s RBI single that got under the glove of Ennis at second base.
Amanda Hall(Haddock, Ga.) responded with a two-out home run to left giving the Eagles their first lead of the ball game.
The Ospreys tied the game in the fifth on a two-out RBI double by Kara Rutenbar. She somehow kept the ball fair down the third base line and plated Britanie Block, who led off the inning with a base knock.
Georgia Southern retook the lead in the sixth inning with a two-out rally that was sparked by North Florida’s first error of the doubleheader which allowed Ennis to reach base. Siliga drove in two runs with an opposite field dinger to right for her fifth of the season.
North Florida threatened to tie in the bottom half of the sixth, scoring one run on three hits. Airen Payne led off the inning with a double and scored on Laura Williams' second base knock of the contest. The Eagles got the lead runner out twice in the inning, preventing any more runs from crossing the plate. Amanda Moseley was ruled out after running into Iduate who was trying to field a ground ball, and Siliga forced Williams out at home for the second out of the inning.
Rutenbar tied the game with one swing of the bat in the bottom seventh driving the ball over the centerfield wall for her second home run of the season. The Ospreys threatened to end the game with runners on second and third with one out in the inning, but Brianna Streetmon (Winder, Ga.) struck out Williams and coaxed a ground ball out to end the inning.
Softball returns to action Saturday at College of Charleston. First Pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is set for 1 p.m.