#2 Saints Cruise by Erskine 8-0 to Open Regional Play
DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia used some early offense on Friday evening to pull away and take down Erskine College 8-0 in six innings in game two of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
North Georgia (48-9) advances in the winner's bracket and will take on Flagler College on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in what will be the battle of the Saints. Erskine (24-16-1) falls in their first-ever regional appearance and will fall to the loser's bracket to take on Augusta State on Saturday afternoon
The Saints continue to shine in regional play, improving to 10-2 all-time in the Southeast Regional, including seven straight wins dating back to the 2009 postseason. North Georgia has now won 22 of their last 23 games, and stretch their current winning streak to 10.
The Saints showed no signs of a 26-day layoff since their last game, as Ansley Williams belted a triple to right field to lead off game and came around to score on a Kasey Knight ground out. After a two-out walk to Pilar Harden, Katherine Martin singled through the right side and Harden raced around to score under the tag to double the Saints' lead and make it 2-0.
The North Georgia offense came to life in the third inning and it was Williams that sparked the rally once again, leading off the frame with a double to left center and later scoring on a sacrifice fly. Callie Fernandez then stepped to the dish with two runners on and cleared the bases with a double off the fence in left center to cap a three-run inning and give North Georgia a 5-0 lead.
Jessica Coan was cruising into the fifth inning with a no-hitter, but Erskine's Whitney Brown drilled a double to left center for the first Flying Fleet hit of the day. Coan would not back down from there however, striking out the side with three straight swinging strikeouts strand Brown at second and end the Erskine threat.
That would be all the offense Erskine would muster, as Sarah Phillips came on to close out the Flying Fleet with a perfect 6th inning.
Coan (25-4) picked up win, tossing 5.0 innings and giving up just one hit, while striking out eight. Kelsey Spurrier (12-9) was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits, while walking four and striking out a pair.