Saints Sweep GCSU, Davenport Snags 400th Win
– The North Georgia softball team continued their dominate
stretch on Saturday afternoon, traveling to GCSU and taking down
the Bobcats 8-1 and 5-0 to stay undefeated with just two games
remaining on the regular season schedule.
The Saints, ranked No. 1 in every regular season poll this season, take their perfection into the final doubleheader of the year, improving to 39-0 overall on the year, and 18-0 in Peach Belt Conference play. GCSU falls to 13-32 on the season and 5-15 in league action.
Head coach Mike Davenport reached another coaching milestone as the 10th year skipper picked up his 400th victory in game two of the doubleheader for an overall mark of 400-135 and a winning percentage of .747. He has averaged over 40 wins a season during his tenure at North Georgia, including a pair of 50-win seasons. Davenport is currently enjoying the longest winning streak of his career at 39, and will look to complete his first-ever undefeated regular season next week as the defending PBC Coach of the Year takes his team into postseason play.
In game one, North Georgia got all the offense they would need in the opening inning as Laura Voyles led off the game with a single and came around to score on a throwing error for the game’s first run. Hilary Cox notched the first RBI of the contest with a single up the middle to send Courtney McGuire home and give the Saints a 2-0 first-inning lead.
The game turned into a pitcher’s duel until the fifth inning when Voyles recorded her second hit of the day, this time a solo home run to left field, her seventh long ball of the year, to jump start the North Georgia offense. Cox followed later in the frame with her second RBI single of the game, and Katherine Martin lined a triple to right-center, bringing two runners racing home and capping a four-run inning that gave the Saints a 6-0 lead.
The Bobcats scored their only run of the game in the last of the fifth thanks to a pair of hits and a rare error by the Saints to bring Bailey Thompson home for GCSU and cut the North Georgia lead to five at 6-1.
The Saints added two more runs in the sixth inning as a throwing error sent Voyles to the plate, and McGuire doubled home Lauren Dykes to give North Georgia an 8-1 victory in the opener.
Game two featured runs in just two innings as the Saints put a two-spot on the board in the second frame, and followed with three more in the seventh for the 5-0 victory, North Georgia’s 16th shutout of the season.
In the second inning, Cox and Katherine Martin started the frame with back-to-back singles, and later came around to score on a two-run single through the left side from Voyles to give North Georgia an early lead that they would never relinquish.
The offense added three more runs in the seventh as Dykes, McGuire, and Leslee Smith all found RBI hits to make it a 5-0 North Georgia win in game two, and another doubleheader sweep.
Sarah Phillips (32-0) was the winner in both games as the junior tossed a pair of complete games without giving up an earned run. She allowed an unearned run on five hits in the opener with seven strikeouts, while scattering four hits and notching five strikeouts in the finale.
The Saints return to action on Wednesday evening, welcoming Lander University to town for senior day and North Georgia’s final regular season games of the year. Senior’s Leslee Smith, Jessica Skeels, Courtney McGuire, and Laura Voyles will be honored following the game two of the of the doubleheader. First pitch against the Bearcats is set for 5:00 p.m. at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. Follow live stats or the debut of live video of the games only at the home of the Saints.
A sweep over Lander to close the regular season will give the Saints the first-ever undefeated regular season in PBC history, while giving North Georgia the most conference wins in league history. The 2001 Kennesaw State squad that finished at 19-1 holds the current mark.