April 16, 2011

Williams' Blast Sends Saints to Championship Game

FLORENCE, SC – Playing their 12th ranked team of the year on Saturday afternoon, the 3rd-ranked North Georgia softball needed just one hit to inch by No. 22 Armstrong Atlantic 2-1 and advance to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship game at Freedom Florence Park.

The Saints continue to dominate the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, advancing to the championship game for the fourth consecutive season and looking to capture the program's third straight tournament title. Armstrong Atlantic falls to 30-11 overall and move to the loser's bracket to game 13 of the championship.

North Georgia improves to 46-9 on the year and are now 14-2 all-time in the PBC Tournament, including 10 straight wins. The Saints advance to Sunday's championship game at 12:00 p.m. against with the winner of game 13 in the loser's bracket.

The Pirates put together their rally in the third inning when Amber Janus and April Jowers put together back-to-back singles and Shelby Duff walked later in the frame to load the bases with one out. Baillie Temples then grounded into a fielder's choice, sending Janus racing home to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

The North Georgia bats were held without a hit until the sixth inning when Ansley Williams came to the plate with Natasha Willemse standing at first and belted her league-leading 12th home run of the year, a two-run blast over the fence in left field to give the Saints their first hit of the day and a 2-1 lead.

Jessica Coan (24-4) did the rest, tossing a complete game and allowing five hits and one earned run, while striking out nine Pirate batters. Megan Barnwell (22-7) was the tough-luck loser, allowing just the one hit by the Williams, and striking out nine.