DAHLONEGA, GA – The 4th-ranked North Georgia softball team opened Peach Belt Conference action in style on Thursday afternoon, sweeping a doubleheader from Flagler College with 8-1 and 6-1 victories at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium on St. Patrick's Day.
North Georgia has now won 36 straight Peach Belt Conference games, improving to 26-6 overall and moving to 2-0 in league action. Flagler, drops their record to 25-9 overall on the year, and fall to 3-5 in conference play.
The Flagler Saints scored the first run of the game with two outs in the first inning when Alona Personius belted a solo home run to left center on the eighth pitch of the at bat, giving Flagler an early 1-0 lead.
North Georgia bounced right back in their half of the inning, tying the game on a lead off home run from Ansley Williams to make it 1-1. The Saints were not finished their however, as Katherine Martin doubled home a run later in the frame, and Callie Fernandez brought Pilar Harden to the plate to cap the three-run first inning.
After a scoreless second inning, North Georgia added three more runs in the third frame, using an RBI single by Harden, and a sacrifice fly by Kayla Martin to add to the lead and make it 6-1.
Two more runs in the fourth is all North Georgia starter Sarah Phillips would need as she shut down the Flagler lineup following the first-inning home run, not allowing another hit as she went the distance and improved to 11-3 on the season.
The North Georgia offense continued to shine in game two, giving the Saints a 6-0 lead, highlighted by four runs in the fourth inning. Harden tallied a solo blast in the third inning to give her team a 2-0 lead, while Fernandez made it 6-0 with a run-scoring double to left center in the fourth frame.
Flagler scored their only run of the game on another solo home run, this time off the bat of Katelyn Guinsler, as the senior drilled her second home run of the year to make it a 6-1 game.
Jessica Coan settled for North Georgia however, shutting down Flagler late to pick up the complete-game victory and improve to 11-3 on the season. She allowed two hits and one run, while walking three and striking out nine.
For Flagler, Kelly Riddick (10-3) suffered the loss in the opener, allowing six runs on as many hits, while walking three and striking out two. Kalyn Loverick (10-4) was the losing pitcher in game two, allowing all six runs and walking seven North Georgia batters.
The Saints will hit the road over the weekend for four straight Peach Belt Conference games, taking on Augusta State in a doubleheader on Saturday, before traveling to USC Aiken for two more games on Sunday.