STATESBORO, Ga. – Georgia State dropped Game 1 of the series at Georgia Southern 6-5 in a closely contested battle Thursday night in Statesboro.

Georgia State raced to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on three hits. Gabby Benson’s single with the bases loaded drove in two runs as the freshman hit a bouncer back up the middle that deflected off the pitcher.

Skylar Mosel lifted a fly ball deep enough for Remington Hasty tag at third and score the third run of the frame.

Georgia Southern answered with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first.

The Panthers extended their lead to 4-2 in the top of the third when Baylee Sexton took home on a wild pitch.

The Eagles took their first lead of the game in the home half of the third when an error by Georgia State kept the inning alive, leading to three runs being pushed across to give Georgia Southern a 5-4 advantage.

Kristin Hawkins brought Georgia State even with an RBI double in the top of the fourth that scored Caitlin Ray from second.

Georgia State and Georgia Southern traded scoreless frames until the Eagles managed to scratch across the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth on a sac fly.

The Panthers threatened in the seventh with the tying run getting thrown out at home to end the game.

GSU and GS will play Game 2 at 7:30 p.m. Friday night on ESPN+.