February 22, 2012

Saints Pick Up Two More Wins, Move Up to No. 2 in Latest NFCA Poll

Contact Joey Daniels, jddani9448@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – The Saints softball team picked up two more wins on the day they found out they moved up a spot in the NFCA National Poll to No. 2 in the country.

Game 1 vs. Belmont Abbey (NG 2-1)

Normally when a pitcher strikes out 18 batters in a seven-inning game, most people would be amazed, but with Jessica Coan throwing the way she has been throwing so far this season, there's a good chance nobody was surprised.

North Georgia picked up their 10th win of the season in the first game of the doubleheaders, as Coan threw another complete game and moved her record to 6-1. The senior only allowed one hit and dropped her ERA to an astonishing .14 in 50 innings pitched.

The Saints got a 2-for-3 day from freshman left fielder Rochelle Shuman, who also scored one of the two team runs.

Pilar Harden got North Georgia on the board in the bottom of the third inning when she hit a liner at the Belmont Abbey third basemen, allowing Shuman to come in and score.

Callie Fernandez helped add another run for the Saints in the fifth when she crushed a double to the center field wall. Sarah Johnson would reenter for Fernandez and come into score when Hilary Cox slapped a base hit back up the middle to give the Saints the 2-1 lead they would hold till the end.

Katie Block started the game at catcher and also picked up another hit to stay hot on the young season.

Game 2 vs. Belmont Abbey (NG 4-0)

Melissa Dickie was one out away from her first collegiate no-hitter, but gave up just first and only hit of the game with two outs in the seventh inning.

Dickie pitched a complete game and kept her perfect record in tact, moving to 5-0 on the season. Dickie continues to impress, even with Coan making national and regional headlines.

Karlie Gillam smacked a double and picked up an easy RBI when she walked with the bases loaded. Gillam went 2-for-2 with a bunt single to lead North Georgia offensively.

A solo home run by Block led off the second inning as the Saints struck first.

In her third start at right field, Kayla Minger went 1-for-2 with a double to deep left center field.


Earlier in the day North Georgia found out they moved up a spot to No. 2 in the NFCA National Poll. The Saints also received a first-place vote.

Alabama-Huntsville, who the Saints will meet in three weeks, took over the top spot as UC San Diego suffered a couple of losses dropping them from No.1 overall.

The Saints now prepare for what looks to be a very difficult weekend in Florida. North Georgia heads to Kissimmee to take part in the 2012 ESPN-Disney Citrus Classic.

While there they will play No. 3-ranked West Texas A&M twice and the Lions of Saint Leo two times as well. North Georgia will also play Kentucky State on Saturday.

North Georgia will also be the first team in school history to be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The Saints will play West Texas A&M at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning.