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GSU softball opens fall practice
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Georgia Southern softball started preparations for defense of its 2012 Southern Conference championship this week with the opening of fall practice at Eagle Field. The 2013 Eagles return five starters in the field and all four members of the league’s top pitching staff a year ago.

“The team has been working very hard in the first week of practice,” said head coach Annie Smith. “We are far ahead of where we were last year. Our older players have helped get us back into the swing of things. Overall, I’m pleased with our progress.”

Defending SoCon Pitcher of the Year Sarah Purvis is back for her junior season along with 2011 SoCon Freshman of the Year Allie Miles in the pitching circle. Three of the five returning position starters are seniors, including Effingham County High School alumna Tabby Douberly. Overall, the Eagles return 16 players from last season’s team and feature four newcomers.

The Eagles open the fall season Sept. 30 at home against South Georgia and Armstrong Atlantic before facing Georgia on Oct. 6 in Athens. The final weekend of the fall season is Oct. 13 and 14. On Saturday the Eagles face South Carolina Beaufort and East Georgia at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. That evening, the team will be honored during the football game against Wofford, which begins at 6 p.m. A day later, GSU faces Georgia Tech at home in the fall season finale with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.

“Having a big crowd at home games is a big advantage for us,” added Smith. “As excited as we are to be back on the field, we are even more excited about having the opportunity to let others see the hard work we’ve put in.”

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