March 16, 2010

No. 1 Saints Inch By Pirates, Cling to Perfect Record

Game 1 | Game 2

SAVANNAH, GA - The top-ranked and undefeated North Georgia softball squad hammered six home runs, including the game-winners in each contest, as the Saints swept a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader from host Armstrong Atlantic State on Tuesday afternoon in Savannah.

The Saints (21-0, 8-0 PBC) remained perfect on the 2010 season with the pair of wins, ending a 10-game winning streak by the Pirates (21-8, 0-2 PBC) and also handing AASU losses in its first two PBC games of the season.

The Pirates opened up game one on a good note as sophomore Baillie Temples hit her team-leading ninth home run of the season in the first inning to give AASU a 1-0 lead. The Saints tied things up in the third on a solo shot by Laura Voyles, then took the lead in the fourth on a Katherine Martin RBI single.

Senior Nicole Huddleston tied things back up in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run, but the Saints took the lead for good in the fifth as Lauren Dykes greeted reliever Shelby Duff with a two-run shot that sent North Georgia to the first-game 5-2 win.

Sarah Phillips (17-0) hurled the complete game win in game one, giving up four hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out eight. Duff (6-2) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up five hits and three runs in three innings pitched.

In game two, the Pirates looked in good shape to earn a split with the Saints as a two-run home run from sophomore Ashley Buckett in the second inning and a two-run double by Huddleston in the third staked AASU to a 4-1 lead.

But the long ball would strike again for the Saints as Hilary Cox hit a two-run shot in the fourth, her second home run of the game, to bring the Saints to within one. A clutch two-out RBI single by Dykes tied things up in the fifth inning, then Voyles struck for a solo home run leading off the top of the seventh to clinch the 5-4 win and the doubleheader sweep for North Georgia.

Phillips again went the distance in game two, scattering nine hits and four runs in seven innings, walking two and striking out seven. Megan Barnwell (8-3) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up nine hits and five runs, three earned, in seven innings, walking one and striking out seven.

Voyles and Dykes each had four hits in the doubleheader to lead North Georgia as Voyles had three solo home runs in the pair of games, driving in three runs. Cox had a 3-for-3 day in game two with three RBIs and two runs scored.

North Georgia’s schedule does not get any easier from here as the nation’s top team will host USC Aiken in a Peach Belt Conference doublheader on Thursday, before welcoming 12the-ranked Augusta State to town on Saturday, and 11th-ranked Alabama-Huntsville on Sunday.