Sixth-Ranked Saints Split Doubleheader with No. 24 Columbus State
Story by Walker McCrary (email@example.com)
DAHLONEGA, Ga. - The sixth-ranked University of North Georgia (UNG) softball team split a top-25 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) doubleheader to No. 24 Columbus State University (CSU) on Friday at Haines and Carolyn Hill Stadium. The Saints (34-11, 14-6 PBC) dropped the first game 3-0 to the Cougars (34-16, 13-7) before taking the second 1-0.
Prior to the game, head coach Mike Davenport was presented with a commemorative jersey marking his 500th win, which he claimed last season in a doubleheader sweep of Georgia College.
Game 1: #24 Columbus State 3, #6 North Georgia 0
Columbus State wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first game as they put up a run in the first inning. Kori Waugh led off the game with a double off the right field fence and advanced on a passed ball and a wild pitch to score the run for the Cougars.
Neither team was able to push a run across the plate from the second through the sixth innings as Mollie Russell for Columbus State and Melissa Dickie for the Saints pitched very well.
In the top of the seventh, Casey Googe hit a two-run homer down the left field line to get a couple more insurance runs for the Cougars and make the score 3-0.
Russell (18-8) was tabbed with the win for the Cougars after pitching a complete game, giving up just two hits and striking out eight. Dickie (11-5) accepted the loss after giving up three runs and nine hits.
Game 2: #6 North Georgia 1, #24 Columbus State 0
In the day's second game, North Georgia scored the lone run of the game in the bottom of the second inning as Taylor Merritt was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Sarah Johnson to score.
From there, the Saints let freshman Courtney Poole (20-6) do the work in the circle, as she claimed the win for the Saints, striking out 11 batters and allowing just three hits.
Columbus State came close to tying the game in the fourth as they had the bases full with just one out, but Poole and her defense retired the next two batters off a foul out and strike out to get out of the jam.
Taylor Turner (10-5) was credited with the loss for Columbus State after six innings of work and five hits allowed.
North Georgia will finish regular-season play on Sunday, April 14, as the Mountain Lions of Young Harris College come to Dahlonega for a PBC doubleheader at The Hill. The game will also serve as "Senior Day" for North Georgia. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. with the second game to start around 4:00 p.m.