GAFFNEY, NC – The 3rd-ranked North Georgia softball team picked up two more wins on Saturday afternoon, topping 20th-ranked California (Pa.) 7-0, before blanking the University of Charleston 8-0 in five innings on the opening day of the Saints Invitational on the campus of Limestone College.
North Georgia continues their hot start to the season, improving to 15-2 overall on the year, while 20th-ranked California falls to 4-3 with a split on the day, and the University of Charleston falls to 1-6 on the year after dropping a pair of games.
Ansley Williams got the Saints off on the right foot in the opening inning as she led off and belted her second home of the year, a blast to left field to give North Georgia a 1-0 lead. The Saints would plate two more runs in the frame, capped by a single off the bat of Callie Fernandez to send Katherine Martin home and make it a 3-0 lead.
North Georgia added two more runs in the sixth inning as Maleah Cousinsau reached on an error, allowing a pair of unearned runs to come across and extend the lead to 5-0.
The Saints would add two more runs in the seventh inning as Kasey Knight reached on a bunt single, and Hilary Cox followed and belted her fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot to centerfield to send North Georgia to a 7-0 victory.
Jessica Coan (6-1) got the start and lasted 6.0 innings, allowing just one hit and no runs, while striking out 11 and walking three. With six more scoreless innings, the junior lowers her earned run average to 0.17 on the season.
Game two featured plenty of offense again as North Georgia scored a pair of first-inning runs, using a groundout by Knight to bring Williams home, and Katherine Martin followed and singled to send Pilar Harden to racing to the plate.
A four spot in the third inning extended the lead to 6-0 as the Saints used the long ball again to spark the offense. Williams led off the frame with her second solo home run of the day, and Pilar Harden followed three batters later and drilled a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 North Georgia lead. Fernandez coaxed a bases loaded walk to cap the four-run inning as the Saints added singles runs in each of the next two innings for the 8-0 victory.
Krysten Connelly (3-0) remained perfect on the year with the complete game shutout, allowing six hits and striking out two in all 5.0 innings of work.
The Saints return to action on Sunday afternoon, taking on Newberry College at 1:30 p.m. and tournament host Limestone College at 3:30 p.m.