No. 1 Saints Tag No. 8 LeMoyne with series sweep
– In a battle of teams ranked in the nation’s top 10,
No. 1 North Georgia got the best of No. 8 LeMoyne in a mid-week
doubleheader, taking game one 4-3 and holding on for a 6-4 nightcap
win over the Dolphins in non-conference action Tuesday evening at
Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
North Georgia continues their best start in school history, improving to 19-0 on the season, while LeMoyne College drops their first two games of the season, falling to 0-2 overall.
In game one, North Georgia used timely hitting to jump out to a lead before holding on for the one-run victory. Zeros were thrown up on the board until last of the fourth when Leslee Smith stayed red hot with solo blast to left field to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
North Georgia continued to tack on runs in the fourth inning as Katherine Martin doubled down the left field line to plate Victoria St. Clair, and Martin came around to score on an error to give the Saints a 3-0 fourth inning advantage.
The offense was quiet until the sixth inning when Pilar Harden sat back on an off-speed pitch and drilled a double to the gap in the left center, plating Jessica Skeels who came in to run for Smith who reached on a double to start the inning.
North Georgia held a 4-0 lead heading to the seventh frame where the dolphins woke up as Kristin Brown and Leah Ford lined back-to-back doubles to the fence, scoring the second and third runs of the inning and pulling LeMoyne to within a run at 4-3. With Ford standing on second and two outs in the inning, Danielle VanGorder popped up to second to end the game and give the Saints a one-run victory in the opener.
Sarah Phillips (13-0) tossed another complete game for the Saints, allowing eight hits and three earned runs while striking out five in all 7.0 innings of work.
In game two, it was the Dolphins that got on the board first, scoring in the first inning with a two-out single from Morgan Edmondson to plate Kelly Schweikert for an early 1-0 LeMoyne lead.
The Saints came right back in the last of the first and loaded the bases with one out before a pair of passed balls brought Laura Voyles and Kasey Knight racing home to give North Georgia the lead right back at 2-1.
After LeMoyne knotted the game at 2-2 in the top of the second, Courtney McGuire came up with a clutch two-out single in the last of the fourth, guiding the ball up the middle to plate Callie Fernandez and Voyles to put the Saints right back on top at 4-2.
Smith then came to the plate and continued the rally with a triple to right center, bringing McGuire around to score and later stealing home as the pitcher turned her back to the runner, giving Smith another run scored and her team a 6-2 lead. With Smith’s triple, she completed the cycle for the doubleheader, continuing her torrid pace at the plate.
LeMoyne added a single run in the fifth, loading the bases on a two-out error and pushing a run across on a walk from Bailey Phillips to force VanGorder home and make it a 6-3 North Georgia lead. The Dolphnins capitalized on three North Georgia errors in the seventh to plate a run, but the Saints held on for the 6-4 victory and doubleheader sweep.
Krysten Connelly (4-0) picked up the win, lasting 5.1 innings, allowing six hits and three runs, one earned, while walking three and striking out one. Phillips came on for the save, tossing 1.2 innings, recording strikeouts for all four outs.
North Georgia returns to action over the weekend, traveling to Florida for a doubleheader at Flagler College on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The Saints will then head to Armstrong Atlantic for another PBC two-game series, this time on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
- With another doubleheader sweep, the Saints extend their best start in school history to 19-0.
- North Georgia is now 13-2 all-time as the No. 1 team in the country.
- The Saints are a perfect 4-0 this season against ranked teams.
- With two more runs batted in, Leslee Smith has now driven in a league-leading 28 runs this season, and with a home run in the first game recorded her fourth home run in the last five games.
- Phillips improved to 13-0 with a win in the opener, a mark that leads the conference as she also is at the top of the Peach Belt Conference in earned run average at 0.63.