FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore right-hander
Sarah Phillips tossed two complete games, including a one-hitter,
as third-ranked North Georgia swept a pair of games from Francis
Marion University, Saturday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference
The Saints won the opener 4-2 in 10 innings and used a first-inning run combined with Phillips’ one-hitter to win game two by a 1-0 decision.
North Georgia (31-3, 9-1) strengthens its hold on the conference lead, while Francis Marion drops to 25-14 overall and 7-9 in the Peach Belt.
In the opener, both teams traded runs in the opening frame. North Georgia scored again in the second frame on an RBI single to right field by Kaelin Farrington. The Patriots tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth frame when senior designated hitter Jessie Alesi homered over the center field fence.
Phillps (21-1) and FMU southpaw Michaela Wolf (14-8) then matched scoreless innings until the 10th frame. The Saints used a single, a fielder’s choice grounder, and a catcher interference call to load the bases with one out. Right fielder Courtney McGuire then drove an RBI single through the left side plating the go-ahead run. A second run later scored on a throwing error at first base – a play that was originally called the third out of the inning, but overturned on appeal to the home plate umpire.
FMU got two-one singles from Stevie Arrand and Shannan Tyson in the bottom of the 10th inning, but Phillips struck out Lakyn Bendle to end the game.
Phillips struck out seven and walked no one in the opener. Wolf fanned seven, walked five, and threw nearly 175 pitches in the hard-luck loss. Both runs she allowed in the 10th were unearned.
Tyson went 4-for-5 for Francis Marion in the opener.
Farrington and centerfielder Pilar Harden paced North Georgia in the opener going 3-for-5 and 3-for-6, respectively, while Kasey Knight, Leslee Smith, Hilary Cox, and McGuire all had two hits. The Saints left 16 runners on base in game one.
In game two, Smith doubled off the left field fence to score Laura Voyles with two outs in the top of the first inning. That would prove to be the game-winning run.
Phillips struck out five and allowed only two FMU base runners: an infield error in the second and a single by losing pitcher Lauren Bubeck to lead off the sixth.
Bubeck (8-5) allowed only six hits, while striking out one and walking one.
Voyles and Harden both had two hits in the second contest.
North Georgia will travel to UNC Pembroke for a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader with the Braves on Sunday afternoon, while FMU plays host to Armstrong Atlantic on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.