UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

At Softball Championship Tournament, the rest of the story

Photo of UNCG players celebratingIn last year’s SoCon Softball Tournament, Spartan pitcher Raeanne Hanks faced Georgia Southern’s Sarah Purvis in the championship game in an epic pitcher’s duel. It was scoreless through several extra innings, till Georgia Southern finally scored.

That was last year.

This year in the double elimination tournament, UNCG lost their first game, to Samford. (UNCG had been on a seven-game win streak.) But in their second game, they defeated Elon, then scrapped their way to a win over Furman that ended at 1 a.m. Friday morning. (See clip of final play.) That kept them alive till 1 p.m., when they’d face the No. 1 seed, Georgia Southern. Raeanne Hanks, who’d already pitched most of UNCG’s innings in the tournament, would pitch opposite Sarah Purvis, SoCon Pitcher of the Year. It was another low-scoring pitcher’s duel – and UNCG won. Hanks gave up zero earned runs, as UNCG won 2-1.

That kept them alive, but they’d have to face the same team 30 minutes later. The winner would play in the championship game. Sarah Purvis pitched again, opposing UNCG sophomore Nicole Thomas, with Raeanne coming in as relief for three innings. UNCG pulled away 11-2. Nicole’s twin sister, catcher Lindsay Thomas, swatted two home runs. Infielder Tatiana Alcala instagrammed her excitement that evening. “Still can’t get over today. So proud to be a Spartan. Championship game tomorrow. Let’s go G!”

They faced No. 2 seed Chattanooga in the title game Saturday, on ESPN3. Raeanne Hanks pitched. Lindsay hit another home run, extending her new SoCon Tournament record for homers. The home fans were loud, as was the Spartan bench. But Chattanooga prevailed 4-3. For the second straight year UNCG made an improbable run to the title game, only to fall one run short.

Once again they have a lot to be proud of.

UNCG finished with back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

By Mike Harris
Photo from tournament by Carlos Morales.