February 6, 2011

Softball Sweeps Away Competition at Early Bird Classic

AIKEN, SC – The 2nd-ranked North Georgia softball team picked up a pair of wins on Sunday afternoon on the final day of the Aiken Early Bird Invitational, taking down the University of Charleston in a pitcher's duel, before powering past Chowan in non-conference action.

North Georgia improves to 3-0 on the year and now have a 7-0 record over the last two years at the Aiken Early Bird Tournament. The Saints will go right back to work next weekend, traveling to Columbus State for the Hughston Sports Clinic Classic.

The Saints recorded their second straight win in the opener as Jessica Coan made her North Georgia debut and was every bit as advertised, tossing a complete game two-hit shutout to baffle the Golden Eagle lineup.

North Georgia got their only runs of the game in the third inning as a key Golden Eagle error plated Kasey Knight and Natasha Willemse to give the Saints all the runs they would need.

Charleston's only threat came in the opening inning as the Golden Eagles registered their only two hits and left bases jammed, but Coan coaxed a groundout to get out of the frame unblemished. Coan went the distance for the win, striking out 12 batters and allowing just the two first-inning hits.

Game two provided plenty of offense for the fans as the Saints dominated Chowan in the early going, tallying four runs in the first, three more in the second, and a single run in the third. Following another four spot in the sixth inning, North Georgia tacked on one more in the seventh frame, their largest run output of the young season.

The combination of Katherine Martin and Sarah Johnson were clutch in the middle of the lineup, putting together six hits, including three home runs and eight runs batted in. Martin belted a pair of home runs for five RBI's, while Johnson had the biggest game of her freshman campaign, tallying three runs batted in and two runs scored.

Kasey Knight did her job in the two hole of the lineup, picking up three hits and scoring as many runs, while Whitney Holman recorded a pair of base knocks in four trips to the plate.

Krysten Connelly got the start in the circle and lasted 2.0 innings, allowing four hits and three runs, none of which were earned. She added three strikeouts and walked two Golden Eagle batters. Sarah Phillips came on in relief and allowed four hits and two earned runs in five innings of work.