DAHLONEGA, GA – The NCAA announced Monday evening that North Georgia will be one of eight host sites for the 2011 Super Regional round of the Division II Softball Championships which will be played around the country May 20-21.
For the third consecutive year, the Saints will play host to the NCAA Super Regionals, as North Georgia looks to advance to the Division II College World Series for a third straight season.
The Saints will face Lenoir-Rhyne University for the second straight year in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division II College World Series in Salem, Virginia, May 26-30 at the Moyer Sports Complex. The Southeast Super Regional is one of eight sites around the country that will make up the NCAA Division II National Championship field.
With two of the top six teams in the country set to battle in the Southeast Super Regional, the Saints and Bears will go head-to-head in primetime on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium in the series opener.
The two clubs will then meet on Saturday afternoon in game two at 2:00 p.m., with an if necessary game to follow at 4:30 p.m. Every game of the Southeast Super Regional will have a live television broadcast at saintssports.com, while live in-game statistics will follow every pitch of the action.
The Saints are currently ranked No. 2 in the latest NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll and have won 24 of their last 25 games dating back to the third week in March. North Georgia is a perfect 4-0 in program history in Super Regional play, including a two-game sweep of Lenoir-Rhyne last season at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
Posting the program's third straight 50-win season in 2011, the Saints are led by one of the most dominating pitching staffs in the country, including Daktronics Southeast Region Pitcher of the year Jessica Coan. The junior is 26-4 on the year with a 0.77 earned run average in 199.1 innings of work. She has 309 strikeouts on the year, and opponents are hitting just .142 against the Duluth, Ga., native.
The top of the North Georgia lineup continues to impress, as leadoff hitter Ansley Williams is tied for the team lead with 12 home runs, and has added 41 runs batted in and 119 total bases. Kasey Knight is hitting .361 on the year and leads the Peach Belt Conference with 75 hits, while continuing to flash one of the best defensive gloves in the country at shortstop.
At 44-8 on the year, Lenoir-Rhyne is making their second straight trip to the Southeast Super Regionals and will look to make the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II World Series.
The Bears ranked No. 6 in the latest NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll, and will go head-to-head this weekend against North Georgia, which is ranked No. 2 in the county.
Lenoir-Rhyne is led at the plate by Kat Rivers who is hitting .421 with nine doubles, four triples, and four home runs, while Jody Mizelle leads the club with 15 home runs and 43 runs batted in for one of the most prolific offenses in the country.
The pitching staff is anchored by Dawon Millwood who is 27-4 on the year with a 1.32 earned run average in 38 appearances. She has 168 strikeouts in 216.2 innings of work and has tallied 11 shutouts on the season.
Tickets to the 2011 Southeast Regional are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for students. Tournament passes will not be available, but general admission single session tickets will be sold at the entrance to Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
Gates will open one hour prior to each session, with stadium seats available on a first-come first-served basis. A terraced section down the third base line is also available for fans, and chairs are permissible. Animals of any kind are strictly prohibited in and around the softball complex, and coolers are also not allowed.
As one of the finest facilities in the country, Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium was home to the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Southeast Regional and Super Regional with a record single-game attendance of 587.