Georgia Southern takes 4-2 victory over UNCG in SoCon tournament action
MT. PLEASANT, SC – Southern Conference Player of the Year Robyne Siliga’s three-run home run gave Georgia Southern a 4-2 win over the UNC Greensboro softball team in Southern Conference Tournament action at Patriots Point Field on Friday afternoon.
With the win, the Eagles advance to the Southern Conference Championship game for the third consecutive year while the Spartans will have to battle Chattanooga at 11 am in an elimination game. A UNCG win would give the Spartans their first berth in the championship round since joining the SoCon.
UNCG (23-32) was led by Lyndsay Mouse and Whitney Sirois. Both were 2-of-3 from the plate while Brittany Ausley and Kaitlin Merkt scored runs for the Spartans.
Amber Harrell took the loss from UNCG and falls to 11-18 on the season after giving up four runs on five hits in 3.0 innings of work. Hannah Angel pitched 3.0 innings in relief and allowed no runs on one hit. The Eastbend, NC native hasn’t allowed a run in her last 20.0 innings of play.
The Spartans threatened to make things interesting in the top of the seventh inning. Mouse reached with a single through the left side and Georgia Southern’s Megen Smith walked Brittany Ausley to put two runners on but with one out, Mary Catherine Vercoe chopped a sharp ground ball to third base where Siliga stepped on the bag and threw to first for the game-ending double play.
The top of the Georgia Southern order provided problems for the Spartans all afternoon as the top three hitters went 5-for-8 with three runs scored and all four GSU RBI. In addition to Siliga’s three-run blast, Aubrey Thweatt was 2-for-3 while Nina Iduate collected one hit and one run batted in.
Melissa Laliberte (19-11) earned the victory for GSU. The first-team all-SoCon performer scattered seven hits in 5.2 innings, allowing two runs, both of which were earned. Megen Smith came on in relief with two outs in the sixth and went the rest of the way in the circle, claiming her second save of the year.
Despite having trouble with Georgia Southern’s top hitter the Spartans were able to out hit the Eagles 8-6 for the game.
The Spartans tried were able to get things going in top of the first. Greenway reached on a dropped fly ball to left field and moved to second on the play. She was moved to third base with a sacrifice bunt from Lyndsay Mouse but wouldn’t make it across home plate as Brittany Ausley flied out to centerfield and Mary Catherine Vercoe struck out to end the inning.
After a scoreless second inning by both teams, Georgia Southern put four runs on the board in the bottom of the third inning to take the early lead.
Lindsey Hopkins got thing started with a leadoff bunt single and was moved to second base with a sacrifice bunt from Michelle Beasley. A single from Aubrey Thweatt moved the rightfielder to third base and she was plated with a bunt single from Nina Iduate which gave the Eagles an early, 1-0 lead.
With runners at first and second, Southern Conference Player of the Year, Robyne Siliga stepped up and hit a three-run home run to centerfield which pushed the Georgia Southern lead to 4-0.
The winner of the UNCG-Chattanooga game will face Georgia Southern immediately after in the championship round.
LiveStats will be available for Friday's game at www.uncgspartans.com and a webcast will be available through Spartan All Access for the duration of the tournament.
UNC Greensboro...... 000 002 0 - 2 8 1 (23-32)
Georgia Southern.... 004 000 X - 4 6 1 (37-28)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Amber Harrell; Hannah Angel(4).
Georgia Southern - Melissa Laliberte; Megen Smith(6).
Win-Melissa Laliberte(19-11) Save-Megen Smith(2) Loss-Amber Harrell(11-18) T-1:45 A-0
HR GSU - Robyne Siliga.
- UNCG -