GREENSBORO, N.C. –The No. 5 UNCG Spartans defeated No. 1 Georgia Southern twice Friday afternoon to advance to the finals of the Southern Conference Softball Championships at UNCG Softball Stadium. After downing the Eagles 2-1 in the first game, the Spartans struck for 11 runs in the second to top GSU 11-2.
After going the distance in the first game, Eagles' starter Sarah Purvis returned in the second and was hit hard in the second inning by the UNCG bats. The Spartans connected on five hits for five runs in the frame to go up 5-0 in the contest. Among the barrage of hits, a Tony Wright three-run homerun highlighted the top half of the inning.
Georgia Southern scored a run each in the second and fourth innings to keep the run rule away, but three runs each in the third and seventh for UNCG kept the Spartans out of reach.
Catcher Lindsay Thomas blasted a three-run homerun – her third of the tournament – in the third and homered again in the seventh. The two-run shot in the final frame broke the tournament record for total homeruns (4) and tied the mark for most round-trippers in a tournament game (2). Her five RBI also ties her own record for most in a single tournament game.
Nicole Thomas was handed her ninth win of the season while Raeanne Hanks was credited with her third save. Thomas gave up just two runs in four innings of work, and Hanks held the Eagles to just two hits in three stanzas of relief.
The Spartans advance to their second championship game in as many years and take on No. 2 Chattanooga in the finale.