DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The eighth-ranked University of North Georgia softball team was in complete control Tuesday afternoon as the Saints earned a pair of dominating wins over Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey College. The Saints shut the Crusaders out in both games, out-scoring Belmont Abbey 8-0 and 16-0 while out-hitting the Crusaders 22-4 combined between the two contests.
Game 1: #8 North Georgia 8, Belmont Abbey 0 (6 Inn.)
In the day's first game, North Georgia (21-6) received runs from Kim McMillan, Taylor Merritt, Katherine Martin, Katie Block, Victoria St. Clair, Tiffanie Burns and Megan May. May and Ansley Phillips were able to register multiple hits in the contest with Phillips going 2-4 with three runs batted in while Burns ripped her ninth home run of the season.
McMillan started the scoring for North Georgia in the first inning as the Saints scored two more runs in the second, three in the fifth and two more in the sixth frame, eventually out-hitting Belmont Abbey 11-0.
Sophomore pitcher Melissa Dickie recorded the no-hitter in six innings of work and struck out two batters while just missing out on the perfect game as she walked one. Dickie improves to 5-2 for the season while Samantha Jacobs pitched five and one-third innings and gave up the eight runs, seven of which were earned, for Belmont Abbey (4-11).
Game 2: #8 North Georgia 16, Belmont Abbey 0 (5 Inn.)
In the day's second game, the Saints continued to dominate on the offensive end with 16 runs scored. The 16 runs are the most North Georgia has scored since shutting out Coker College 19-0 in five innings on March 5, 2011.
The Saints put up three runs in the first inning, two in the second, six in the third and finally five in the fourth behind freshman Courtney Poole's solid pitching. Poole improved to 13-4 for the season while striking out five batters.
Nikki Faust was saddled with the loss in game-two after pitching just two innings that saw her give up five runs.
McMillan led the way at the plate by going 3-3 in the game with two runs scored and four RBI including knocking her team-best 11th homer of the season. Merritt also was perfect at the plate with a 2-2 outing that included one RBI and two runs scored while Meredith Heyer went 2-3 with three runs scored.
North Georgia will next jump back into its Peach Belt Conference slate with a Thursday, Mar. 14 doubleheader against the University of South Carolina Aiken. The nationally-ranked Saints will face the Pacers at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the Saints' annual "Cancer Awareness Day" with t-shirts being sold at the game for $10 with all proceeds being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In between games, North Georgia will recognize and honor those who have battled and/or are still battling cancer.