May 9, 2010
Greenville, S.C. - Furman moved one step closer to earning a spot in the Southern Conference Tournament by downing Georgia Southern 4-1 in game one to earn a doubleheader split with the Eagles on Sunday at Pepsi Stadium. Georgia Southern claimed game two, 5-1.
The Paladins (24-22, 12-10 SoCon) head into Monday's regular season finale and rubber game of the three-game series needing a victory to clinch a spot in the four-team league tournament scheduled for May 13-14, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Furman got all the offense it would need in game one behind a four-run first inning that featured three walks and two Eagle errors. Hannah Bradley and Katie Michaels opened the frame with walks and moved into scoring position on Jessie Homesley's sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Lana Mackey drew a base on balls to load the bases and Brythe Blankenship reached on an error by the third baseman Jenny Side to force in the first run. Michaels scored on a wild pitch and Morgan Hughey delivered a two-run single to right field to up the advantage to 4-0.
Mackey had enough to work with as she tossed a complete game allowing just one run on six hits to improve to 17-9. She fanned seven Georgia Southern batters without issuing a walk.
Hughey went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI to lead the Paladin offense.
Brianna Streetmon suffered the loss for the Eagles to slip to 18-10. She allowed four runs, all unearned, on four hits over six innings. Streetmon walked three and struck out three.
The win clinched Furman's first winning season since the 2000 campaign.
In game two, Megen Smith (7-13) held Furman to just one run on three hits over seven innings to lead Georgia Southern to a 5-1 triumph and clinch the Eagles' spot in the SoCon Tournament. Smith walked just two batters and fanned one while throwing just 86 pitches.
Nina Iduate put GSU ahead in the first by singling, advancing to third on an error and scoring on Side's bunt single. Smith helped herself in the third blasting a solo homer down the left field line to up the margin to 2-0.
Marie Fogle's bases loaded single off of reliever Hannah Bradley helped GSU plate three more runs in the sixth before Furman answered with its only run of the game on Mackey's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.
Starter Kayla Suskauer (3-6) took the loss for Furman after allowing one unearned run on two hits in 1/3 inning of work.
Iduate, Smith and Side each collected two hits to ignite the Eagles' offense while Michaels went 2-for-3 to lead Furman.
Monday's series finale is set for 1 p.m. at Pepsi Stadium.