North Georgia Falls to Lenoir-Rhyne 4-2 in NCAA Regional Round
HICKORY, N.C. – The University of North Georgia softball team fell at the hands of host Lenoir-Rhyne in an elimination game of the 2013 NCAA Division II National Tournament 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at Bears Field.
The Bears (36-16) will now play Georgia College in another elimination game. The winner will play Anderson University on Sunday afternoon.
Lenoir-Rhyne struck first in the bottom of the first when Megan Laxton hit a double down the left field line that scored Lauren Elder and Haily Jarman to take the early 2-0 lead.
The Bears added two more in the bottom of the second on two more doubles, one by Elder and one by Jessica Fellmeth that gave Lenoir-Rhyne a 4-0 lead.
Freshman pitcher Courtney Poole settled in after that, allowing just one hit and no runs while striking out five in the final 4.1 innings.
The Saints rallied in the sixth inning. Kim McMillan started the rally with a single to center field. After Kayla Minger reached on a fielder's choice, Katherine Martin hit a home run to left center field that cut the lead in half.
The Bears were able to hold on in the seventh as the Saints had a runner on and the tying run at the plate but couldn't bring a run across.
Martin, who went 1-2 with two runs batted in, led North Georgia at the plate.
Brandi Hole (19-8) got the win for the Bears, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out four. Poole was tabbed with the loss for the Saints after pitching a complete game and striking out eight.
The Saints made their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament this year after going 36-14 on the season. They finished third in the Peach Belt Conference after going 16-6 in PBC play.