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STATESBORO, Ga. -- Georgia Southern scored three runs in the first inning against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, and the Eagles looked ready to hand the Lady Mocs their first Southern Conference loss of the season.

But UTC's pitchers and defense held the home team scoreless for the next 13 innings for 5-3 and 1-0 wins in the crucial three-game conference series. The teams play another game today at 1 p.m.

Senior pitcher Brooke Loudermilk gave up four hits in the first inning to put the Lady Mocs in an early hole, but she allowed only one hit over the next three innings and earned the win.

"(Georgia Southern batters) were very aggressive at the plate -- swinging at the first pitches, allowing us to get some quick outs, which was really good," UTC pitcher and designated hitter Nikki Waters said. "I'd rather face a team like that because it's bang-bang plays and we get out of the inning fast."

UTC (30-9, 11-0 ) struggled against GSU ace Brianna Streetmon. But after scratching out a run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by shortstop Jessica Traxler, the Lady Mocs had three hits and took advantage of two GSU errors to score three runs and take a 4-3 lead in the fourth. Second baseman Tia Blosser got the big hit of the inning, a single that scored Lyndsey Stiles and Kasey Tydingco.

Blosser scored in the seventh on a sacrifice by Waters.

In the second game, UTC managed seven hits against Eagles pitcher Megen Smith, but runs were hard to come by until third baseman Tiffany Baker blasted a home run in the fourth inning. It was her 11th homer of the season.

"I was just trying to think about hitting the ball up the middle," said Baker, who was 2-for-3 in the second game. "I did not hit was well as I wanted in the first game. In the second game, I was going up there hacking a little bit. It was a low and inside pitch and not the typical home run. I originally thought that it might have been too high."

Waters pitched 6 2/3 strong innings to earn the win in the second game, allowing four hits and striking out two.

UTC coach Frank Reed was happy with how Waters changed up her pitches to keep GSU batters off stride.

"Her curve has given her trouble at times, but what she did well was hit her spots," Reed said. "We got to throw her riseball a little bit today. She threw her fastball really well and got groundouts and jammed them up a little bit with that. She did what she needed to do."

Kandice Irwin finished both games to earn two saves and give her 11 for the season. She needs four more saves to tie the NCAA single-season record of 15 set in 2008 by Mallory Aldred of Canisius.

Traxler and Stiles each went 3-for-6 in the two games for UTC.

"I felt pretty good today," Traxler said. "I have been in a slump and kept thinking to myself hit the ball hard."

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