April 15, 2009

#2 Saints Sweep GCSU, Put Lid on Regular Season

Game 1 | Game 2

MILLEDGEVILLE, GA – 2nd-ranked North Georgia ended the regular season with two more wins Wednesday afternoon, sweeping GCSU 5-2 and 7-1 to extend their win-streak to 16 games heading into postseason play.

The newly 2nd-ranked Saints end the regular season at 39-3 overall and 16-1 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the Bobcats fall to 30-20 on the season and 12-6 in the league.

In game one, the Saints scored first in the second frame as Leslee Smith jumped all over a two-strike pitch and launched her 8th home run of the year to left center, giving North Georgia a 1-0 lead.

Sarah Phillips then settled in and shut down the Bobcats, allowing just one hit over the first five innings. The Saints’ one-run lead held true until the last of the sixth inning when Tonya Medder lined a two-out double to left center, plating a pair of runs to immediately shift the momentum and the lead to GCSU with a 2-1 advantage.

With the Saints down a run heading to the seventh, Laura Voyles stepped to the plate and promptly tied the score 2-2 with a solo blast to left field. The ball landed in the parking lot and bouncing in-between cars as the junior rounded the bases to knot the score.

With the score tied in the final inning, North Georgia was far from finished at the plate as Courtney McGuire lined a one-out double down the left field line and later scored on a Smith single to give the Saints a 3-2 lead. Hilary Cox continued the rally with a bouncing single through the left side to bring Caroline Bower racing to the plate and make it 4-2. Pilar Harden would score later in the frame on a wild pitch as the Saints exploded for four runs in the seventh for a 5-2 lead.

Phillips came out in the seventh and struck out the side to slam the door on the Bobcats for the 5-2 come-from-behind victory. The sophomore recorded 11 strikeouts and improved to 28-1 on the season, winning her 25th consecutive start.

In game two, North Georgia took the lead early once again, this time plating three runs in the opening inning on just one hit. The Saints used a pair of walks, a wild pitch, and a passed ball in the three-run frame.

After North Georgia posted the early advantage, Trisha Snider took the mound and shut down GCSU, tossing a complete game and allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out six.

The Saints added three insurance runs in the seventh, capped by a pair of RBI hits by Kim Stercay and Voyles to give North Georgia a 7-1 victory.

The Saints will have two days off before returning to action Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in the 2009 Peach Belt Conference Tournament at Freedom Florence Park hosted by Francis Marion University. North Georgia will oppose the winner of the opening round Georgia Southwestern vs UNC Pembroke game to be played on Friday morning.

North Georgia enters the tournament as the top overall seed after clinching the regular season championship last week with a doubleheader sweep over Georgia Southwestern.