Blazers' Big Inning Too Much for Saints at CWS
ST. JOSEPH, MO
– In a battle of the top two teams in the country, 2nd-ranked
Valdosta State exploded early and held on for a 6-1 victory over
top-ranked North Georgia, ending the Saints’ bid for a
perfect season in the second round of the NCAA Division II World
Series Friday afternoon at Heritage Park.
The Saints fall for the first time this season, dropping to 51-1 on the year, and moving to 3-3 all-time in the Division II College World Series. North Georgia can now hope to continue the history of recent years as the National Champion 24 of the last 28 years has had a loss in the World Series before capturing the title.
With the loss, North Georgia flips to the bottom of the bracket to game No. 10 of the Championship Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m., and will face the winner of Wayne State and Metro State, a game that takes place Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Valdosta State has now captured 17 of their last 19 games and improve to 50-8 on the year as they advance in the winner’s bracket and will have Saturday off before returning to action on Sunday at 12-noon for the right to play in the National Championship game.
North Georgia continued to do what they had all year long in the opening inning as the Saints used speed to jump out on top in the first inning. Voyles opened the game and worked the count full before coaxing a walk, and All-American Lauren Dykes punched a bunt back to the pitcher and beat the throw at first as Voyles raced around to third.
North Georgia stayed aggressive as Courtney McGuire stepped to the plate and Dykes swiped second on the first pitch, while Voyles raced home on the throw to give the Saints an early 1-0 lead.
Valdosta State wasted little time knotting the score in the second inning as Sarah Vaughn singled up the middle with two outs, sending Ariel Shaw home from second just under the tag of catcher Natasha Willemse.
The Blazers stayed red hot in the third inning with four more runs to jump out to a 5-1 advantage. VSU used four hits to take the lead and took advantage of a North Georgia throwing error in the process.
Valdosta State continued to capitalize on mistakes by the Saints’ defense in the sixth inning as a pair of miscues led to another run and a 6-1 lead by the Blazers.
Sarah Phillips falls to 44-1 on the year, her first loss since the semi-finals of the 2009 World Series against Lock Haven, the eventual National Champions. The junior allowed six runs on eight hits, while walking three and striking out four.
Holly Satterfield was the winner, improving to 27-3 on the year as she allowed just two hits and one unearned run, while walking a pair and striking out eight North Georgia batters.