March 12, 2011

Alabama-Huntsville Charges Back Late to Topple Saints

DAHLONEGA, GA – The 2nd-ranked North Georgia softball team surrendered a four-run lead on Saturday evening as 4th-ranked Alabama-Huntsville came storming back to knock off the Saints 5-4 at Haines and Carolyn Hill Stadium on day one the Captain D's Classic.

The split on the day sends North Georgia to 22-4 overall on the year, while the Chargers remain unbeaten at 13-0-1 on the season after defeating the Saints and taking down Tusculum 8-0.

The Saints came alive early as Ansley Williams stroked a single up the middle to lead off the game, and Pilar Harden later guided a base knock to centerfield, sending home the first run of the game.

The North Georgia bats stayed hot in the second inning when Kayla Martin led off and drilled a triple down the right field line and came around to score on a two-out single by Williams, her second hit of the game in as many tries to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.

North Georgia continued to bring home the runs with two outs as Hilary Cox and Harden connected on back-to-back RBI singles, plating a pair of runs and extending the Saints' lead to 4-0.

The Chargers cut the lead in half in the fourth inning when Stephanie Needham belted a two-run shot to centerfield, scoring Abbey MacKay and pulling Alabama-Huntsville to within two runs at 4-2.

UAH put together another rally in the fifth inning with three runs on as many hits to take a 5-4 lead. Mary Kelley singled home the first run of the frame, and Kellie Johnson provided the big blow, a two-run double to right-center to give the Chargers their first lead of the contest, as they would hold off a North Georgia rally in the seventh inning for the victory.

Sarah Phillips (9-2) was tagged the loss as the senior went 4.1 innings and allowed five runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out four. Christina Boczek (2-0) was the winning pitcher in relief, tossing 3.0 innings of scoreless ball, while Alex Lewis earned her fifth save of the season.

The Saints will go right back to work on Sunday afternoon at the Captain D's Classic, battling 3rd-ranked Valdosta State and 4th-ranked Alabama Huntsville once again in back-to-back games. First pitch against the Blazers is set for 2:00 p.m., while North Georgia will cap the weekend classic with a 4:00 p.m. contest against the Chargers.