KSU’s softball team hosted in-state rival Georgia Southern for the first three-game series ever at Bailey Park over the weekend, however the performance didn’t quite live up to the billing as the Eagles earned a, 9-0, shutout victory.
Georgia Southern (20-10, 6-0 SoCon) caught the Owls starting pitcher, Amanda Henderson, off guard on Sunday with a firework filled first inning.
The Eagles’ lead off hitter, Alexa Lewis, struck gold in her first at bat with a home run. Hannah Ennis followed with a single, and Marie Fogle reached on a walk, before clean-up hitter Mackenzie Williams hit a three-run jack over the right center wall to give the Eagles an early 4-0 advantage.
Henderson (7-5) entered the game on a hot streak. Against Samford, earlier in the week, she recorded 11 strikeouts in a 10-2 victory. It was Henderson’s 10th performance of the season where she earned at least 10 strikeouts.
She would clean up, staying in the game on Sunday with strong, shutout performances in the second and third innings. However, the Owls offense struggled all day to capitalize on opportunities, despite putting runners on base in six of the seven innings.
Henderson would get hit hard again in the fourth frame. With the bases loaded and two outs, Lewis singled on a 3-2 count to bring two more runs home for the Eagles.
Natalie Rhodes was a bright spot for the Owls offense. Rhodes finished the game, on Sunday, 3-of-4.
Henderson finished the game in 5.2 innings, with a final stat line of seven hits, four earned runs, three base-on-balls and seven strikeouts.
Henderson is now ranked fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference in strikeouts with 116, and her 1.63 ERA is 7th in the league.
KSU’s loss to the Eagles came in the wake of two defeats at the hands of the Eagles in a double-header on Saturday, in which the Owls lost by the scores of 1-5 and 4-10.
The Owls (16-15) are still in good shape in the conference standings at 1-1, splitting a double-header with Florida Gulf Coast earlier in the season.
KSU fans can expect some more in-state rivalry action in the coming days. The Black and Gold will visit Georgia Tech on Wednesday in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets will return the favor with a visit to KSU on April 4, as part of Lexi’s Night. Lexi’s Night is a fundraiser event intended to raise money for the Alexis Kaiser Foundation.