March 9, 2013

Eighth-Ranked Softball Splits With Jaguars in PBC Opener

Story by Walker McCrary

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia softball team split with the Augusta State Univesrity Jaguars in the Peach Belt Conference opener for both squads. The Saints (19-6, 1-1 PBC) dropped the first game 3-0 before storming back to claim the second over the Jaguars (7-15, 1-1 PBC) 6-1.

Game 1: Augusta State 3, North Georgia 0

All three Jaguar runs came in the opening frame. Augusta State was able to use the bunt to score all three runs.

Lauren Yeargan started the scoring off a bunt back to Courtney Poole to reach base. Brooke Stephens would bunt on the next at-bat to score Molly Walton and Yeargan.

Jaguar pitcher Kristen Mills was solid in the circle all afternoon, holding the Saints to just two hits while striking out seven Saints.

Courtney Poole (12-3) would get tabbed with the loss as she went six innings allowing three runs and four hits while striking out four.

Taylor Merritt and Kayla Minger led the way for the Saints, going 1-for-2 at the plate.

Game 2: North Georgia 6, Augusta State 1

North Georgia would waste little time getting on the scoreboard in game two of the doubleheader, as Minger singled up the middle to score Kim McMillan.

The very next batter, Callie Fernandez, would also get an RBI as she reached on a fielder's choice, which scored Rochelle Shuman to make the score 2-0 early.

Augusta State would respond in the bottom half when Walton scored as North Georgia caught Stephens stealing.

Ansley Phillips would get an RBI in the top of the third as she knocked in Victoria St. Clair to make the score 3-1.

St. Clair would then get an RBI of her own in the top of the fourth on a single up the middle, scoring Shuman.

Sarah Johnson would come across the plate for the Saints in the fifth off an error by Augusta State to stretch the lead to 5-1.

McMillan would finish off the scoring with a homerun to center field in the sixth as the Saints cruised to a 6-1 victory.

Melissa Dickie would get her fourth win of the season after pitching a complete game and allowing just the one run off three hits and a walk while striking out three.  Haley Birkle (1-6) was tabbed with the loss for the Jaguars. 

The Saints will now turn their attention to their final non-conference matchup against the Belmont Abbey Crusaders on Tuesday, March 12, at The Hill in Dahlonega. First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m.