April 18, 2009

Saints Advance to PBC Tournament Championship

Box Score | Tournament Central

FLORENCE, SC – 2nd-ranked North Georgia continued their run through the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon, defeating 18th-ranked USC Aiken 4-1 to advance to Championship Sunday at Freedom Florence Park in the PBC Tournament.

North Georgia wins their 19th straight game and improve to 42-3 overall and 7-2 all-time in the Peach Belt Tournament, while the Lady Pacers fall to 33-13 on the year.

The Saints now advance to the Championship series on Sunday afternoon and will face Francis Marion University, USC Aiken, or Augusta State. North Georgia will have to win just one of two games against the loser’s bracket winner to claim the school’s first-ever PBC Tournament Championship.

In North Georgia’s third game of the tournament, Laura Voyles led off in the bottom of the first inning with a double down the left field line, and later scored on a clutch two-out infield single off the bat of Leslee Smith for an early 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second inning, Voyles smacked another double in the third inning and came around to score on a Kasey Knight single up the middle to make it 2-0. The Saints added their third run of the game on an error as Kasey Knight advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a throwing error to give North Georgia a 3-0 third-inning lead.

USC Aiken picked up their only run of the game as Jessica Strickland sent a one-out blast to center field, just out of reach of Pilar Harden to cut the Saints’ lead to two at 3-1. 

North Georgia added the final run of the game in the 6th inning as Hilary Cox singled through the left side, bringing pinch runner Caroline Bower racing home for a 4-1 lead.

Sarah Phillips (31-1) went the distance to win her 28th consecutive game, allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out four. Phillips has allowed just six hits in North Georgia’s three PBC Tournament games and tossed all 19 innings.

Toni Flessate (17-6) suffered the loss, allowing seven hits and four runs, three earned, in 6.0 innings of work.

North Georgia’s last lost came against the Pacers, as USC Aiken broke the Saints’15-game winning streak with a 4-0 victory. Since that time, the Saints have won 19 straight games and 14 straight conference games.

Game one of the PBC Tournament Championship Series is set for Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Freedom Florence Park. Daily passes for Championship Sunday are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for children.