Saints split on day two, still have shot at title
North Georgia to take on #18 Francis Marion
FLORENCE, SC - North Georgia College & State University took down 5th-ranked UNC Pembroke 4-0 in the opening game of day two, but fell 2-1 to GCSU Saturday afternoon in a semi-final match up at the 2008 Peach Belt Conference softball tournament. The Saints are one of three teams remaining and will take on #18 Francis Marion Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. for the right to play for the championship at 3:00 p.m.
In game one of the winners bracket, the Saints took on the 5th-ranked Braves of UNC Pembroke and cruised to a shutout of the tournament's number one seed. North Georgia jumped on the board in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Courtney McGuire to plate Laura Voyles for a 1-0 lead. Leslee Smith followed with a triple down the left field line, playing Tiffany Blackburn and giving the Saints an early 2-0 advantage over the PBC Pitcher of the Year in Martika Elmore.
In the third inning, the Saints added to their lead as Smith brought two more runs home on a double to left field. The two runs were Smith's second and third RBI of the game as North Georgia held on for a 4-0 upset of the top-seeded Braves.
Sarah Phillips (16-5) tossed a two-hit masterpiece, striking out six facing just two over the minimum against the newly crowned PBC regular season champions.
After taking their second game of the tournament, The Saints had a four hour break before facing off against GCSU for the right to play in the tournament championship game.
The Saints jumped on top first as PBC Freshman of the year, Tiffany Blackburn launched a two-out long ball well over the fence in right-center to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
North Georgia held the Bobcats scoreless through three inning where Krista Bess robbed Tonya Medders of a home run, slamming through the fence in center field but still coming up with catch. GCSU still mounted a two-out rally as Kori Pickowitz singled through the left side to tie the game 1-1. The Bobcats would take the a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Swanson to give GCSU a 2-1 win and a spot in the championship game.
North Georgia (33-12) will look to continue their magical run tomorrow as they take on #18 and host Francis Marion University Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The Saints are competing in their first ever PBC softball tournament and will look to become the first North Georgia team from any sport to advance to the NCAA national tournament.