February 27, 2011

No. 3 Saints Keep Rolling, Sweep Weekend Classic

GAFFNEY, SC – The 3rd-ranked North Georgia softball team capped a perfect 4-0 weekend on Sunday afternoon, blanking Newberry College 2-0, before exploding at the plate for a 10-1 victory over Limestone College at the Saints Invitational.

North Georgia continues to roll, winning their fourth straight game and improving to 17-2 on the season as the No. 3 team in the land surrendered just one run in four weekend games.

In game one on Sunday, the Saints were held scoreless by Newberry starter Felicia Taylor over the first three innings, but North Georgia finally got on the board in the fourth inning when Hilary Cox led off the frame and drilled her fifth home run of the year to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.

North Georgia scraped together another run in the fifth inning when Maleah Cousineau was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. Victoria St. Clair was called on to run and she later scored on a groundout by Cox to make it a 2-0 game.

Two runs is all North Georgia starter Sarah Phillips (7-1) would need as the senior tossed a complete game three-hit shutout to earn the victory. She recorded five strikeouts in all 7.0 innings of work, while surrendering two walks.

The Saints saved their biggest offensive output of the weekend for Sunday evening against Limestone, combining for 12 hits, 10 runs, two doubles, and three home runs in a 10-1 victory in six innings.

North Georgia produced runs in five of the six innings as eight of the 10 positions in the lineup tallied hits, including Ansley Williams and Kasey Knight who set the table at the top of the order with two hits and two runs apiece.

Callie Fernandez got the home run parade started in the fourth inning as the sophomore led off and connected with the first long ball of her collegiate career to give the Saints a 4-0 lead. Pilar Harden followed in the fifth frame and drilled her second home run in as many days, sending a solo shot to centerfield as part of a two-run inning.

Cox capped the North Georgia scoring in the sixth inning with her third home run of the weekend, this time a three-run blast to right field to give the Saints a 10-0 and send the junior to seven RBI's in the last four games.

Limestone tallied their lone run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a single by Kirstyn Burleson, but North Georgia pitcher Jessica Coan (7-1) would pick up the win, going all 6.0 innings and allowing four hits and one run while striking out 10. The junior now has five double-digit strikeout performances in nine starts on the season, fanning 79 batters in 47.0 innings of work.

The Saints return to action next weekend, traveling to the Mid South Classic for six games in three days. North Georgia will open the weekend with last year's NCAA Southeast Super Regional participant and 17th-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne as the Saints oppose their 5th ranked team of the 2011 season.