DAHLONEGA, GA – For the second straight season the North Georgia softball team dropped the opening game of the Southeast Super Regional, falling to Flagler 8-2 on Friday evening at the Hill.
North Georgia (48-9) lost for the first time since the Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship on April 22, while Flagler (38-17) won their fourth straight game.
The home loss was the first for North Georgia since March 11 and their most lopsided home loss since April of 2007.
Jessica Coan (25-8) was tabbed with the loss as she tossed a complete game allowing only two Flagler earned runs and striking out four. Six of Flagler's eight runs were unearned as four North Georgia errors in the third led to a six run outburst by Flagler.
Donna Munafo (20-5) picked up the win tossing five innings scattering five hits and allowing one run, while Katie Enright worked the final two frames to seal the Flagler victory.
Flagler opened the scoring in the top of the third scoring six runs on four hits and took advantage of four Tiffanie Burns errors. The two big blows in the inning came when Alona Personius lined a two-out RBI double to center and Lauren Bessent followed with a single up the middle that scored a pair.
Flagler stretched the lead to eight runs in the top of fourth when Robyn Draper roped a two-out triple to center that scored a pair.
North Georgia cut into the deficit plating single runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Senior Pilar Harden got North Georgia on the board with an RBI groundout to second in the fifth and Kayla Minger sent a two-out single through the right side to plate pinch runner Taylor Merritt in the sixth.
After mounting a threat in the sixth, North Georgia went quietly in the seventh as Enright retired the side in order on three straight groundouts.
The Saints will have to win back to back games now if they are going to make their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA College World Series.
North Georgia looks to stave off elimination tomorrow, May 12, while Flagler has their sights set on their first-ever College World Series birth. First pitch in game two is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. with game three (if necessary) scheduled for 4:30 p.m.