Spartan softball season comes to an end; UNCG falls 2-0 to Georgia Southern
CHATTANOOGA, TN – UNC Greensboro’s bats went silent for the second straight game in a 2-0 loss to No. 3 Georgia Southern in the Southern Conference Softball Tournament on Thursday morning at Jim Frost Stadium, eliminating the Spartans and ending their season.
No. 8 UNCG once again could not solve Georgia Southern starter Melissa Laliberte. The Eagle right-hander threw 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings against the Spartans this year over three appearances. Today Laliberte (13-11) gave up just four hits and one walk over the distance striking out seven hitters.
UNCG starter Danielle Byrne (4-8) worked 1.1 innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits but was saddled with the tough luck loss. Hannah Angel worked her third straight game after entering in the second inning and scattered seven hits and gave up one run over 4.2 innings.
Georgia Southern (30-33) began its half of the first inning by loading the bases, but Byrne worked out of the jam by getting Maria Laurato to pop out to short to end the Eagles threat.
In the top half of the second, UNCG got something going as Lyndsay Mouse singled with one out and went to second on a walk by Leslie Furness. However, Laliberte struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
The Eagles struck first in the bottom of the second when Aurora Johnson singled up the middle to score Carrie Mixon from second base to take a 1-0 lead.
Bonilla led off the Spartan fourth with a double to left centerfield and went to third on a wild pitch with Kelly Allen at the plate. The all-conference first baseman never moved from third as Allen struck out, Mouse fouled out to catcher and Furness was also caught looking to end the inning.
Georgia Southern stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth and again left two more in the fifth as Angel worked out of numerous jams to keep the Spartans within reach, trailing 1-0. In all the Eagles left 13 runners on base in the game.
The Eagles once again loaded the bases in the sixth inning and this time they capitalized on their opportunity. Samm Steiner was hit in the hand on a 1-1 pitch by Angel that forced home an insurance run to make it a 2-0 game.
Mouse and Bonilla each went 2-for-3 with a single and double to account for the Spartans four hits.
Johnson paced a nine-hit attack for GSU with three hits and an RBI.
The loss ends the Spartans' season with a record of 20-42. On Wednesday, UNCG became the first team since the championship field expanded to eight teams in 2001 to top the No. 1 seed in the opening game of the tournament. The Spartans beat top-seeded Western Carolina 5-3 in the morning. Later in the day, Chattanooga picked up a 2-0 win over UNCG.
Line Score 123 456 7 R-H-E
UNCG 000 000 0 0-4-1
Georgia Southern 010 001 x 2-9-0
UNCG: Danielle Byrne, Hannah Angel (3) and Kelly Allen
Georgia Southern: Melissa Laliberte and Samm Steiner
W: Laliberte (13-11). L: Byrne (4-8). SV: None.
- UNCG -