Softball Regular Season Ends with Weekend Series vs. Chattanooga
Georgia Southern (32-27, 11-7) enters the final stretch in third place in the Southern Conference behind Chattanooga (34-17, 12-3) and the College of Charleston (30-29, 11-6). A GSU sweep and one CofC loss would create a tie at the top of the standings between GSU and UTC. Charleston closes out the season at Elon.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” said head coach Natalie Poole. “There’s a lot of excitement surrounding senior weekend. I’m hoping we won’t feel a lot of pressure but that we will embrace the weekend and that’s where my focus will be and that’s where I want the girls’ focus to be. I know we’re going to have to step up our game because they’re going to be a pretty competitive team.”
Prior to last weekend’s two-game sweep at the hands of Charleston, Chattanooga had won 18 of 19, including a streak of 14 in a row. The Lady Mocs are aiming for their 10th SoCon championship.
“They are a tough team,” said Poole. “They’re a very respectable program and a team that is capable of coming through in the clutch. Power for power I think we’re equal, we’re a little bit better in terms of average but defensively they’ve done better and pitching is very equal. It’s just going to be a situational (hitting) weekend. It’s going to come down to whoever makes the better adjustments and takes advantage of the few opportunities.”
The recent run came largely on the strength of pitcher Brooke Loudermilk who ranks first in the SoCon in opposing average (.183), second in earned run average (1.82), third in strikeouts (184) and fourth in wins (13).
“I don’t know a whole lot about her,” said Poole. “I know she’s going to be tough she throws the ball well and will be comparable to what I would expect from Mel (Laliberte). We’re just going to have to be ready to take advantage of mistakes and walk to the plate each time with a clear mind and not anticipate what she’s going to do.”
Loudermilk and the Lady Mocs are second in the league in team ERA (2.41) behind the Eagles who top the charts at 1.99. GSU has a conference-high 13 shutouts and have not allowed more than one run in any of the last four games.
“I see it as a low-scoring series,” said Poole. “We’ve had tendencies periodically of having a bad inning here or there but we’ve moved back out of that and we’ve been pitching better and playing better. I’m hoping we’ll be able to do just enough to create some offense and score some runs.”
The Eagles will counter with senior Melissa Laliberte who holds a league-low 1.67 ERA and did not allow an earned run in 16.1 innings of work last weekend at Appalachian State.
- Category: Softball
- Published on Thursday, 01 May 2008 00:17