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Flagler will be making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Super Regional round. The Saints made their mark last season when they were invited to their first NCAA Regional in Dahlonega, going 2-2 at The Hill.
A surprise winner from the Armstrong Regional, the No. 7-seed took down the likes of No. 2-seed Armstrong and No. 3 seed Lenoir-Rhyne twice.
Flagler’s success in the Armstrong Regional was due in large part to the brilliant pitching of Donna Munafo. The senior was simply in shutdown mode the first two games, before getting roughed up on Sunday.
In the Saints first two games of the regional, Munafo threw a two-hit shutout against Armstrong on Friday in a 1-0 win in eight innings, and a one-hit shutout of Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday. She did get beat up on Sunday allowing five earned runs, but her offense came through in a 9-7 victory advancing Flagler to their first NCAA Super Regional.
Munafo (19-5) could not be touched in her first two starts, and will look to maintain that dominance this coming weekend against a North Georgia team struggling at the plate. She has a current ERA of 1.06, second-lowest in the PBC.
The Saints moved their record to 37-17 on the season after their shootout victory over the Bears. Their nine runs scored in that game was more than their total runs scored in their previous nine games.
Before the surge this past weekend, Flagler had lost six of their last seven games, while struggling mightily at the plate. They scored just four runs during that stretch.
The pitching is good enough with Munafo to carry these Saints, much like the case with the North Georgia Saints. The offense will be the question mark as well.
These two teams are mirror images of one another, both boasting dominating pitching and struggling offense. This best of three series should be a close one, another Peach Belt thriller.
The Saints split with North Georgia back on March 13 at home. North Georgia took game one 6-2 with Jessica Coan picking up the win, while Flagler took game two 7-0 on a masterful performance by Donna Munafo.
Something has to give when these two Saints’ meet this coming weekend for a trip to Louisville, Kentucky, and the 2012 College World Series on the line. Should be another competitive low-scoring weekend in Dahlonega, this one is worth watching.