AIKEN, SC – 5th-ranked North Georgia used
three home runs to defeat USC Aiken 9-1 in the opener, but the
Pacers responded in the nightcap for a 4-0 shutout of the Saints
Tuesday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Saints move to 23-3 overall and 3-1 in the Peach Belt Conference, while USC Aiken moves to 21-10 on the season and 5-5 in the league.
In game one, the Pacers took the early lead in the opening frame as Jennifer Day singled to right field to bring home Lauren Locklear and make it a 1-0 USC Aiken advantage.
The Saints wasted little time taking the lead right back as Kim Stercay got the bats started in the second inning with a two-run blast to make it 2-1. Pilar Harden and Stercay added RBI hits for single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to give North Georgia a 4-1 lead.
North Georgia was far from done at the plate however, pushing five runs across in the sixth inning. Leslee Smith and Harden went back-to-back for the first time this season to put the game out of reach at 9-1 after six innings. Smith launched a three-run blast, while Harden followed with a solo shot in the five-run sixth.
Sarah Phillips (13-1) pitched another complete game, going 6.0 innings and allowing four hits and no earned runs while striking out eight.
In game two, the Saints managed just four hits as they fell for the first time in 16 games. USC Aiken used a long ball by Jessica Strickland and three hits by Candice Hardee to up four runs and defeat North Georgia 4-0.
Trisha Snider (10-2) suffers the loss, lasting 3.0 innings and allowing five hits and three earned runs while striking out two.
The Saints will now travel to Carrollton, Georgia, to take on in-state rival West Georgia with first pitch set for 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. The doubleheader with the Wolves will put a lid on North Georgia’s current eight-game road trip.