DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The 12th-ranked University of North Georgia softball team opened its 2013 home schedule by hosting three other teams in the Captain D's Classic at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. The Saints fell in the tournament's first game 5-3 to Lincoln Memorial University but bounced back in the 3:00 p.m. game with a 6-4 victory over the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
In the other two games for the day, Lander University defeated the Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial 2-1 in the tournament's second game and Alabama-Huntsville claimed a 9-1, five-inning win over the Bearcats in the day's final game.
The start times for Sunday's games have been moved up two hours due to the threat of inclement weather moving into the area surrounding Dahlonega later in the day. Lander and Alabama-Huntsville will now play at 9:00 a.m. with the Bearcats then facing Lincoln Memorial at 11:00 a.m. The 12th-ranked Saints will then close out the tournament with back-to-back games at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. against Alabama-Huntsville and Lincoln Memorial.
Game 1: Lincoln Memorial 5, #12 North Georgia 3
In the day's first game, the Saints, which played the first game as the visitors, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Katherine Martin ripped a two-run home run scoring fellow senior Karlie Gillam but the Railsplitters plated four runs in the bottom of the inning when Laura Taricano knocked a grand slam that scored Kirstin Toole, Sarah Walz and Amanda Snow.
The Railsplitters then tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth inning before North Georgia plated its final run of the game in the fifth inning.
Kim McMilan had the most productive outing at the plate for the Saints, going 2-4 with a run scored while Brianna Mulkey went 2-3 at the plate for the Railsplitters.
Sophomore Melissa Dickie pitched three innings for the Saints and accepted the loss while Snow started her season off with a win. Toole came in for the final 2.2 innings to record the save.
Game 2: #12 North Georgia 6, Alabama-Huntsville 4
In the Saints' second game of the day, North Georgia once again raced out to an early lead, this time going up 4-0 after plating a run in the bottom of the second inning and another three in the bottom of the fourth.
Senior Kayla Minger recorded her first RBI of the season in the second inning when she singled to right field to score Martin and then pushed two more runs across in the bottom of the fourth with a double to the other side of the field. Sarah Johnson then singled up the middle to score Minger and set the score at 4-0.
Despite being down, the Chargers mounted a comeback in the top of the fifth inning with four runs off a pair of doubles by Cortney McNett and Kathryn Whitlock, forcing the Saints to continue to be aggressive at the plate and on the bases.
Callie Fernandez gave the lead back to North Georgia in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single to score Katie Block and Martin added an insurance run in the following inning with her second homer of the day.
Martin ended the second game 2-3 at the plate with three runs scored and an RBI while Minger went 3-3 with three RBI and one run scored.
Freshman Courtney Poole improved to 3-0 for the season as she pitched the complete game and struck out seven batters. Kimberly Jack was saddled with the loss for the Chargers after pitching just two and a third innings.
The Saints will be back in action at home again on Sunday, Feb. 10 with games at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. against Alabama-Huntsville and Lincoln Memorial.