April 20, 2012

Saints Set to Begin Quest for 4th Straight PBC Tournament Title

Contact Joey Daniels, jddani9448@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – The No. 11-ranked North Georgia softball team is ready to pursue their quest for a fourth straight tournament title, as they head to the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament this weekend.

The Saints (43-7, 17-3 PBC) will enter this year's tournament as the No. 2 overall seed, after another successful regular season. Armstrong earned the top seed after losing one game in conference going 19-1 in the league.

For the first time in four years, North Georgia will not be the No. 1 overall seed.

There is still a streak the Saints can go for however, and that would be to win their 13th consecutive PBC Tournament game. They have not lost since 2008, when they fell to Georgia College in the tournament championship.

The Bobcats will get their chance to knock off the defending champs again, when they and the Saints open up the 2012 PBC Tournament on Saturday at 11:00 AM.

North Georgia swept Georgia College at home this season, 2-1 and 9-1 on April 10.

Ironically, the Saints have also won 13 consecutive games this season after their sweep over Francis Marion on Thursday.  North Georgia will take two separate 13-game winning streaks to Columbus this weekend.

Should North Georgia take down Georgia College, they will take on either No. 3 seed Augusta State or No. 6 seed USC Aiken.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 1 Armstrong takes on No. 8 Francis Marion while No. 4 seed Flagler goes against No. 5 seeded Columbus State.

The tournament winner will receive an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Regionals, which will be played on May 5-7. The Saints have made it to four straight NCAA Regionals.

North Georgia resides in the NCAA Southeast Region, where they are currently ranked No. 1. There are eight teams that will make it to the Regionals, three coming from conference tournament automatic bids (Peach Belt, SAC, Conference Carolinas), and five at-large bids, which is where regional rankings come into play.

Six of the eight schools currently ranked in the top eight of the region belong to the Peach Belt Conference.

The hitting and the pitching of the streaking Saints are both clicking right now, as they ride their longest winning streak of the season into Cougar Field.