#1 NORTH GEORGIA

#7 FLAGLER COLLEGE

   

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  NORTH GEORGIA SAINTS (45-8)

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North Georgia is headed back to the NCAA Super Regionals for a fourth straight year and have a chance to go back to the College World Series for a fourth consecutive year as well, a feat that has been accomplished just one other time.

The No. 11-ranked team in the country went a quick 3-0 this past weekend, moving their record to 48-8 on the season. The Saints have now won 12 consecutive NCAA Regional games over the past four years.

Despite scoring just four runs in their three games, North Georgia used dominant pitching from Jessica Coan and Melissa Dickie, who combined to allow just one run, which was unearned at that.

They surrendered just eight hits total in those three games, as King, Columbus State and Augusta State stood virtually no chance offensively.

Dickie (20-0) has an ERA of just 1.18, while Coan (25-7) is at 1.43 on the season. They have held their opponents to a .175 batting average this season, and have pooled to throw 11 shutouts.

The offensive numbers for Mike Davenport’s Saints over the weekend were a different story however. North Georgia scored just four runs in their three games at The Hill, only one of which was actually earned.

They finished with 13 hits, but had trouble stringing them together. They finished the regional with a combined team batting average of just .188, going 13-for-69 at the plate.

The question becomes: how far can the pitching carry the 2012 North Georgia Saints? It is said that defense wins championships, and the Saints employed stellar defense this weekend. Words can’t describe how good the pitching has been as of late for North Georgia, and if the offense can find its way quickly, this team will be one tough out.

These two teams are mirror images of one another, both boasting dominating pitching and struggling offenses. This best of three series should be a close one, another Peach Belt thriller.

The Saints split with Flagler back on March 13, down in St. Augustine, Florida. North Georgia took game one 6-2 with 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.