March 12, 2009

#5 Saints Open PBC Play, Take two from Jaguars

Game 1 | Game 2

DAHLONEGA, GA – The 5th-ranked North Georgia softball team opened league play Thursday afternoon, taking down Augusta State 6-2 in game one, before rallying in game two for a 7-3 comeback win over the Jaguars to sweep a doubleheader in Peach Belt Conference action.

The Saints improve to 18-2 overall, and vault to the top of the PBC standings at 2-0, while Augusta State falls to 16-13 overall and 2-4 in the league.

In game one, the Saints pushed a run across courtesy of an error in the opening inning before Leslee Smith stepped to the plate and crushed her fourth home run of the year to bring Courtney McGuire and Kasey Knight home and make it a 4-0 first-inning lead.

Augusta State responded with a pair of runs in the third frame as Leann Barber reached on an error and a throwing error brought Kayla Adams and Sara Demuth racing to the plate to cut the North Georgia lead in half at 4-2.

Hilary Cox and Jessica Skeels both notched RBI hits later in the game as the Saints went on to win the opener 6-2 over the Jaguars.

Sarah Phillips (10-1) went the distance to pick up the victory, tossing 7.0 innings and allowing three hits and no earned runs while striking out five.

Jennifer Miller (5-5) suffered the loss in game one, lasting 3.0 innings and giving up five runs on as many hits while striking out one.

In game two, it was the Jaguars’ turn to get on the board first as they scored two runs in the third inning on just one hit, but took advantage of two North Georgia errors to take the lead. Angii Verbeelen reached on an error to bring home Barber for the first run of the inning, and Verbeelen scored later in the frame as Kacee Camp reached on an error to give Augusta State a 2-0 third-inning advantage.

The Saints’ bats were held in check until the fourth inning when McGuire led off with her team-leading fifth home run of the season to put North Georgia on the board and cut the Jaguars’ lead in half at 2-1. Kim Stercay came to the plate later in the inning with the bases jammed and singled to right center to bring home two more runs and give the Saints a 3-2 lead.

North Georgia continued their offensive surge in the fifth inning with four more runs on as many hits to take a 7-2 lead. Smith and Skeels provided RBI hits for the Saints, while Stercay doubled home another run to cap the four-run fifth inning.

Augusta State added a single run in the sixth inning on a double by Sara Dumuth to plate Jessica Thornton and make it a 7-3 game, a score that held true to the final out.

Trisha Snider (8-1) picked up the win in all 7.0 innings of work, allowing six hits and three runs, one earned, while striking out one.

Kimberly Kennedy (5-1) was tagged with the loss in relief, tossing 1.1 innings and giving up four runs on four hits while striking out one.

North Georgia will now take their show on the road to play eight games in the next seven days. The Saints will play four games in Florida before traveling to USC Aiken and West Georgia for a pair of doubleheaders.

Augusta State returns to action on Satuday afternoon, traveling to Georgia Southwestern to take on the Hurricanes for a doubleheader with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.