April 15, 2011

No. 3 Saints Take 15-inning Thriller Over Flagler

FLORENCE, SC – The 3rd-ranked North Georgia softball team used a run-scoring double in the 15th inning on Friday evening for a 2-1 walk-off victory over Flagler College in the second round of the PBC Tournament at Freedom Florence Park.

It took 15 innings and over three and a half hours, but Kasey Knight swiped second base with one out, and Sarah Johnson followed and lined a double to right center to break a 1-1 tie and give the Saints their second victory of the day.

North Georgia improves to 45-9 and advance in the winner's bracket to take on 22nd-ranked and 2nd-seeded Armstrong Atlantic on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m., while Flagler falls to the loser's bracket and returns to action on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.

A pitcher's duel dominated the first six innings, as Flagler and North Georgia tallied just two combined hits heading to the last of the sixth frame in a scoreless game.

Ansley Williams would promptly break the deadlock with one out, blasting her 11th home run of the year over the fence in right center to send the Saints to a 1-0 lead.

Sarah Phillips breezed through the first six innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 10 Flagler batters, but Jessica Coan was brought in for the seventh inning and she was rudely welcomed with a solo home run to left field off the bat of Alona Personius to knot the score at a run apiece.

The game rolled on into extra innings and North Georgia had a golden chance to walk away with the win the ninth inning when Katherine Martin doubled down the left field line to send Pilar Harden racing home for the apparent winning run, but the umpires came together and changed the play to a ground rule double to send Harden back to third base. Callie Fernandez followed and popped up to end the frame and send the game to the 10th inning.

Flagler would leave just six runners on base, as Phillips (18-4) continued to dominate in the circle, tossing all 15 innings and allowing just two hits, while striking out 17 batters. Donna Munafo (7-7) was the tough-luck loser, lasting 14.1 innings and allowing two runs on nine hits, while walking four and striking out 12.