February 24, 2012

Bats Go Quiet as Saints Fall to Saint Leo in Extra Innings

Contact David Beall, jdbeall@northgeorgia.edu

KISSIMMEE, FL – The bats went quiet on the Saints in game one of the ESPN Disney Citrus Classic on Friday afternoon, falling 2-1 in extra innings at the hands of Saint Leo at the Disney Wide World of Sports. 

Leaving eight runners on base, the 2nd-ranked Saints (11-2) struggled at the plate all day and never broke through in the clutch as they were unable to back another stellar performance from Jessica Coan.

Coan (6-2) was nearly perfect again, recording 10 or more strikeouts for the third straight game. The Duluth, Georgia, native fanned 10 in 7.2 innings of work and ran her streak of not allowing an earned run to 42.1 innings. 

A scoreless game went into the 8th inning where Pilar Harden was placed on second and quickly moved over to third when Rochelle Shuman put down a sacrifice bunt. Hilary Cox followed and coaxed a walk and forced herself into a rundown to allow Harden to swipe home and give the Saints a 1-0 lead.

Saint Leo came right back in the last of the 8th inning and Coan struggled to find the zone, walking a pair to load the bases with one out. The Lions appeared to have the game won when Alex Garris lined a single down the left field line to tie the game, but Shuman came up firing and gunned down Angela Kafalas at the plate for the second out of the inning. 

After Saint Leo loaded the bases with an intentional walk, Rachelle Gremo worked the count and sent a ground ball to second that was booted by Katie Block, allowing the winning run to come home and give the Lions a 2-1 upset win in extra innings.

North Georgia will go right back to work in game two of the afternoon, taking on 3rd-ranked West Texas A&M at the Disney Citrus Classic. The battle of two of the top five teams in the country will preview tomorrow's contest on ESPN3 at 10:00 a.m. at the ESPN Disney Wide World of Sports.