PEMBROKE, NC – The North Georgia softball
team continued to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in
the Peach Belt Conference Sunday afternoon, sweeping a doubleheader
from UNC Pembroke 11-8 and 5-3 at LRA Field.
North Georgia improves to 33-3 on the season and 11-1 in the PBC with the sweep, while UNC Pembroke falls to 16-26 overall and 5-9 in the league.
In game one, the Saints found themselves down 1-0 heading to fourth inning before exploding for 11 runs over the last four innings. The offense put a single run on the board in the fourth before adding five in the fifth, two in the sixth, and three more in the seventh for the victory. The Braves rallied for five runs in the last of the seventh before the Saints slammed the door for the four-run victory.
Leslee Smith, the PBC leader in batting average, paced the offense once again, finding three hits in four appearances, while Pilar Harden had a pair of hits but drove in four runs with those two hits.
Sarah Phillips tossed 6.0 innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out seven to pick up the win in the opener.
In game two, the Saints needed late-inning heroics to complete the sweep, scoring two runs in their last plate appearance for the 5-3 victory. Kasey Knight led off the final frame with a double and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Harden, which turned out to be the winning run.
Courtney McGuire provided the fireworks in the early going, launching her league-leading 11th home run of the season in the third inning to knot the score at 3-3.
Sarah Phillips (23-1) allowed three earned runs in the opening frame, but shut down UNC Pembroke the rest of the way to allow the North Georgia offense to come around and record it’s second straight come-from-behind victory. Phillips went the distance in game two, allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out six.
The Saints will look to extend their Peach Belt Conference lead on Wednesday afternoon, hosting Lander University for a PBC doubleheader with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 p.m. The games will surround the Saints annual Cancer Awareness event and Senior Day as Kaelin Farrington will play her last home games in a North Georgia uniform.