October 30, 2009

Softball Ends Fall Season, Eyes 2010 Campaign

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia softball team put a lid on their fall season Thursday evening after playing the final two games of a nine-game schedule that spanned nearly the whole month of October and featured games against six different schools.

After the Saints miraculous run last season to the Division II College World Series, head coach Mike Davenport and his crew were hard at work during their fall practice period, making trips to a pair of in-state Division I schools, while hosting a trio of doubleheaders at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.

North Georgia opened the fall campaign at Georgia Tech, tangling with the Yellow Jackets in a doubleheader the first week of October, before the Saints hosted young Harris and Darton College for a pair of games in Dahlonega.

The defending Southeast Region Champions then went from the ACC to the SEC to take on the University of Georgia in Athens. North Georgia traveled to the UGA Softball Complex and took on the Bulldogs in a 14-inning contest, before ending the fall season with four straight home games. Middle Georgia came to town for a double dip, before Georgia Perimeter opposed the Saints to close out the fall campaign.

North Georgia will have a similar look from last season when they step on the field next spring to defend their Peach Belt Conference Regular Season Championship, PBC Tournament Title, and Southeast Regional Championship.

The Saints return eight starters from 2009, including PBC Pitcher of the Year and All-American Sarah Phillips in the circle, while All-Americans Leslee Smith and Courtney McGuire will enter their senior seasons after combining to crush 21 home runs last year.

While many familiar faces will make up the starting lineup opening day in 2010, seven freshmen will also look to battle their way into the starting lineup as defending PBC Coach of the Year, and Southeast Region Coach of the Year Mike Davenport will guide his Saints into another season in the always competitive Peach Belt Conference.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as the North Georgia softball program will release their 2010 schedule that will feature a full slate of Peach Belt Conference games at home and on the road, while the Saints will have 23 non-conference games on the schedule, including a doubleheader in Dahlonega against a 2009 World Series participant.

With the Saints coming in at #3 in the final NFCA Division II Top 25 of the 2009 season, North Georgia will likely debut in one of the top two spots in the country when the preseason poll is released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in January of 2010. The Saints were ranked 11th in last year’s preseason poll, before rising to the top spot in the nation in final regular season poll.