March 15, 2011

#2 Saints Devour Wolves with Doubleheader Sweep

CARROLLTON, GA – The 2nd-ranked North Georgia softball team got right back on track on Tuesday afternoon, traveling to the University of West Georgia and taking both ends of a doubleheader at University Field in non-conference action.

The Saints captured game one 10-1 in five innings, and responded with a 10-4 victory in the nightcap to walk away with a 24-6 record, while the Wolves continue to struggle, falling to 9-9 on the season.

The North Georgia offense took control of the opening game early as three runs in the first inning and four more in the second frame gave the Saints a 7-1 lead. Hilary Cox provided the spark in the first inning with a three-run blast to left field, her second home run in as many games to give North Georgia the lead.

Ansley Williams, fresh off her PBC Freshman of the Week honors for the second time in the last three weeks, continued the home run parade in the second inning as she also connected with a three-run bomb, sending hers to left center and giving the Saints a six-run advantage.

Cox added to her big day in the fourth inning with a single to right center, sending two runs racing home and giving the junior five runs batted in for the game. Natasha Willemse capped the scoring with the Saints' third home run of the game, this time a solo shot as Willemse launched her first long ball of the season to give North Georgia a 10-1 victory in five innings.

Sarah Phillips (10-3) picked up the win, allowing a run on three hits in all 5.0 innings of work, while adding four strikeouts and five walks.

The Saints went right back to work in the early innings of game two, scoring a run in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead. North Georgia had to manufacture both runs as Cox scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, while Callie Fernandez scampered home on a fielder's choice in the second frame.

A four-run fourth inning broke the game wide open as Victoria St. Clair and Willemse added a spark to the bottom of the lineup with back-to-back RBI base knocks to plate three of the four runs.

The Wolves showed some life in the sixth inning, breaking up a no-hitter by Jessica Coan and eventually loading the bases. Coan was one out away from getting out of the jam, but Megan Garcia made her pay, sending a grand slam to left field and pulling West Georgia to within two runs at 6-4.

North Georgia answered the Wolves with a four runs of their own in the seventh inning, using RBI doubles from Katherine Martin and Williams to fuel the rally and send the Saints to another 10-run performance and the doubleheader sweep.

Coan (10-2) finished the day with 13 strikeouts, lasting all 7.0 innings and giving up four runs on three hits, all of which came in the sixth inning.

North Georgia will now turn their attention to Thursday afternoon's Peach Belt Conference doubleheader against 21st-ranked Flagler College. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.