April 19, 2012

Saints End Regular Season with Sweep of Francis Marion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Cunha,
sjcunh2033@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia softball team capped the 2012 regular season on Thursday night by taking both ends of a conference doubleheader against Francis Marion at The Hill.

The Saints (43-7, 17-3 PBC) swept their sixth straight conference doubleheader, while the Patriots (31-17, 8-12 PBC) ended the season with a six game losing streak. 

- Game One – North Georgia 4, Francis Marion 1

Jessica Coan tossed her 20th complete game of the season, striking out 11 and allowing only one unearned run to pick up her Peach Belt Conference best 23rd victory. 

North Georgia jumped on the Patriots early scoring three of their four runs in the first two innings, giving Coan an early lead she would not surrender.

Pilar Harden led off the game with a pop up right in front of the plate and Francis Marion's first and third basemen collided, causing the ball to squirt free as Harden raced to third. 

A batter later, Harden came sprinting home as Patriots catcher Olivia Ferguson's pickoff attempt sailed into left field.

The Saints added to their lead in the second when Harden laced her second triple of the season bringing Callie Fernandez and Sarah Johnson racing home to give North Georgia a 3-0 lead. 

Coan returned to her dominant form overpowering the Patriots all afternoon. The Duluth, Georgia, native struck out the side in the first and fourth innings, while scattering six hits. The only blemish came in the sixth when the Patriots manufactured a run after a Johnson error.

North Georgia responded in the home half of the frame when Kayla Minger hit her team leading 12th double of the year to score Katherine Martin

- Game Two - North Georgia 9, Francis Marion 4

Hilary Cox opened up the scoring in the first inning when she hit a no doubter to left center. 

In the next half inning, the Patriots played small ball manufacturing a pair of runs, the second of which came on a trick play with runners on the corners and two outs.

North Georgia battled back in the home half of the third when Katherine Martin flared a single to shallow left bringing Rochelle Shuman charging home. 

The Saints opened up the seesaw contest in the bottom of the fourth when they scored six runs as the first seven batters to come to plate reached base. Callie Fernandez led of the inning with a base knock up the middle and Pilar Harden broke the 2-2 tie when she launched a two-run homer to left center.

Three batters later, after a hit and two walks, Katherine Martin put the game out of reach when she sent a 2-2 pitch sailing over the left field wall for her seventh homer of the season. 

Melissa Dickie ran her record to 17-0 with win as she tossed five innings allowing two runs on six hits. The freshman continued to show excellent control as she worked effectively striking out 3 and walking just one hitter.

Jessica Coan tossed the final two innings of the game to the seal the victory for the Saints striking out the side in the sixth and holding the Patriots scoreless in the seventh. 

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The Saints return to the diamond this weekend, April 21-22, when they travel to Columbus, Georgia, to take part in the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament.