March 23, 2013

Sixth-Ranked Softball Sweeps Patriots 4-1, 3-1 in PBC Doubleheader

FLORENCE, S.C. – The sixth-ranked University of North Georgia softball team swept the Patriots of Francis Marion University on the road Saturday with the Saints claiming the first game of the Peach Belt Conference doubleheader 4-1 before winning game-two 3-1 in 11 innings.

The wins improve the Saints' record to 28-7 overall, including an 8-2 mark in conference action while the Patriots fall to 20-16 and 5-7 in the PBC.

Game 1: #6 North Georgia 4, Francis Marion 1

The Patriots struck first in the day's first game when Taylor Luff scored off a single by Olivia Ferguson in the bottom of the first inning.

That would be the only scoring for the rest of the game until the top of the seventh when the nationally-ranked Saints scored four unearned runs off a walk, single, a wild pitch and a passed ball. Katie Garrett, Taylor Merritt, Sarah Johnson and Katherine Martin all scored to give North Georgia the win as both teams secured five hits.

Kim McMillan continued to scorch pitchers as she went 3-4 at the plate to lead all batters in the first game.

Melissa Dickie (8-3) pitched the complete game to secure the win with three strikeouts compared to two walks while Luff (11-9) fanned nine batters while accepting the loss in the circle for Francis Marion.

Game 2: #6 North Georgia 3, Francis Marion 1 (11 Innings)

As was the case in Thursday's second game, a pitchers' duel broke out early in the second game as each pitcher gave up just one hit through the first five innings.

It would take until the sixth frame for either team to score a run as the two traded solo runs with McMillan scoring an unearned run off a single by Martin for UNG. Tristan Faile then batted in Cat Zalud with a double in the bottom of the inning.

The game once again progressed scoreless for another four innings with Karlie Gillam ripping her second home run of the season in the top of the 11th, also scoring Martin, to eventually hand the Saints the win 3-1 win.

Courtney Poole (17-4) struck out 12 batters but gave up six walks and one earned run to secure the win in the circle while Danielle Payne (4-6) struck out eight batters, walked two more and gave up two earned runs while accepting the loss. 

North Georgia has one final Peach Belt Conference road doubleheader as part of this weekend's road trek. The sixth-ranked Saints will travel to Pembroke, N.C. where they will play the University of North Carolina Pembroke (16-21, 2-6 PBC) on Monday starting at 1:00 p.m.