DAHLONEGA, GA – Senior Pilar Harden sparked another late inning North Georgia win as the top-seeded Saints took game two of the NCAA Southeast Regional 1-0 over King College on Friday afternoon at The Hill.
The Watkinsville, Georgia, native smacked a two-out triple to deep right field in the bottom of the fifth, bringing Katie Block home to score the game's lone run.
Jessica Coan (24-7) was dominant in the circle for the Saints tossing her fourth complete game shutout of the season scattering just three hits and striking out 11.
After allowing a one-out double in the first, Coan settled down not allowing another hit until the seventh inning.
Tornado starter Hannah Light (20-5) was equally impressive holding the potent Saints offense at bay all afternoon. While Coan was overpowering hitters with her rise ball, Light changed speeds and worked the corners letting her defense make the plays.
Offensively, Harden led the charge for North Georgia going 2-3 with an RBI to register her 14th multi-hit game of the season. Katie Block went 1-1 with a run scored after coming on as a pinch runner for Callie Fernandez in the third.
After recording two quick outs in the fifth, Light ran into trouble as Block lined a single to left and Harden followed with yet another clutch hit.
The Saints were threatening once again in the sixth with runners on first and second and one out, but Sarah Johnson lined into a double play as Tornado shortstop Christina Melcher made a great play.
King College's lone threat came in the seventh when Melcher and Fallon Thomas hit back-to-back singles to start the rally. Coan would respond by striking out Kendall Brabson. Christy Kooch came to the dish trying to shock the top-seeded Saints, but she flared a blooper to shallow left field and North Georgia shortstop Tiffanie Burns made a diving catch and doubled off Melcher to end the threat and the game.
The Saints return to the diamond tomorrow, May 5, when they take on fifth-seeded Columbus State, who defeated Augusta State 2-1 in the opening game of the regional, at 1:30 pm.
To visit the 2012 NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament website click here.