February 12, 2012

No. 3 Saints Sweep Their Way Through Loyal Blue Classic

Contact Joey Daniels, jddani9448@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia softball team won two more games on Sunday, boosting their record to 4-0 on the young season. The Saints took down Bellarmine in their first game, 4-2, and then defeated Tusculum for the second time this weekend, 5-1 in the finale of the Loyal Blue Classic.

Game 1 vs. Bellarmine (NG 4-2)

Freshman Melissa Dickie pitched a great game in her first collegiate start, picking up the first win of her career. Dickie pitched five-plus innings, surrendering only two runs. She had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, then retired the first two batters on just two pitches. Dickie would seem to run out of gas at that point, walking the next batter and then giving up three straight hits. She finished with just three hits allowed and five strikeouts.

Jessica Coan would come on in relief of Dickie and strikeout all four batters she faced. Coan recorded her first save of the season.

Pilar Harden went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a triple on her way to tallying three RBI's. Harden hit a no-doubter over the left field wall with Hilary Cox on base after Cox ripped a single through the hole on the left side.

Cox also had two hits, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored in her first game ever playing first base.

Sarah Johnson started the game with a double and would later come around to score to spot Dickie an early 1-0 lead.

The Saints will host Bellarmine in a doubleheader later this year on March 7, in Dahlonega.

Game 2 vs. Tusculum (NG 5-1)

North Georgia got a five-run outburst in the fifth inning in part to two key errors by the Pioneers and a Katie Block home run.

Coan finished her dominating early-season with seven more solid innings, allowing only one run on four hits. Coan struck out nine batters, boosting her season total to 28. She has only pitched in 18.1 innings, averaging over 1.5 strikeouts per inning thus far.

The Saints scored five runs but only smacked four hits, three of them coming in the five-run fifth.

It was a Block home run that would put away the Pioneers, with Coan in shutdown mode in the circle for the final two innings. Block blasted a two-run bomb over the left field fence, giving the Saints a 4-1 advantage.

Cox added another run by knocking in Johnson, giving Coan and the Saints even more insurance.

North Georgia wraps up their weekend going 4-0 in the 2012 Loyal Blue Classic. They scored 20 runs while only surrendering five. The Saints also only committed three errors, while their opponents committed 10. The batting average was only .219, but the pitching of Jessica Coan and Melissa Dickie made up for the cold bats.

The pitching staff of Coan, Dickie and Krysten Connelly combined for a 1.25 ERA. The struck out 36 batters and only allowed 12 hits.

The Saints now prepare to travel to North Carolina to take on Mars Hill. The game originally scheduled for Tuesday has been moved back to Wednesday due to snow and inclement weather in the area. The doubleheader is set for 2:00 and 4:00 PM.