– The North Georgia softball team continued to impress with
three victories on the first day of the 2010 UAH Charger Chillout
at Wilson Morgan Park in non-conference action.
The Saints, ranked 2nd-ranked in the country, had a little bit of everything on Friday, opening the day with an 8-0 blowout of Northern Kentucky, before turning around and sneaking away with a 9-8 victory against Arkansas Tech, only to come back in the nightcap and shock 5th-ranked Indianapolis 10-0 in five innings in what was a whirlwind day for North Georgia in one of their busiest days of the year.
In the Saints’ opener against Northern Kentucky, freshman Lauren Dykes was the story at the plate, going 2-3 with a grand slam and five runs batted in, while recording a walk and a run scored. Sarah Phillips (3-0) shut down the NKU offense, allowing the opening hitter to reach base on a single and not letting the Norse notch another hit until the sixth inning. The junior right-hander went the distance, allowing just two hits in 6.0 innings while striking out four and walking one.
Arkansas Tech gave the Saints all they could handle in the middle game of the day as the Golden Suns scored two seventh inning runs and threatened to tie the game before Phillips came on and struck out the final two batters of the game to pick up the save and give North Georgia a 9-8 victory.
Leslee Smith picked up a pair of hits against Arkansas Tech, including a triple as the senior All-American drove in five of the Saints’ nine runs. Laura Voyles drove in a pair of runs, while Courtney McGuire brought two runs home to score, both coming in North Georgia’s five-run third inning that put the Saints up for good.
In what was likely the most impressive win of the day, the Saints exploded to run-rule #5 Indianapolis 10-0 in five innings. In the circle, Phillips (4-0) stifled the Greyhounds, holding last year’s World Series participant to a single hit as the All-American went the distance and recorded seven strikeouts.
Dykes and Smith continued to pace the offense, recording two hits apiece and each driving in three runs in a monster day for the senior-freshman duo. Sophomore Pilar Harden also had two hits and drove in a run in the finale.
The 2nd-ranked Saints improve to 7-0 on the season and 3-0 in the UAH Charger Chillout with a full slate of games scheduled for the rest of the weekend. North Georgia will take on West Alabama and Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday, before facing Wayne State and North Alabama to cap the tournament on Sunday.