March 25, 2013

Softball Takes PBC Doubleheader From UNC Pembroke 4-0, 8-2

PEMBROKE, N.C. – The nationally sixth-ranked University of North Georgia softball team completed its second Peach Belt Conference road sweep in three days Monday as the Saints took a pair of games, 4-0 and 7-2, from the Braves of the University of North Carolina Pembroke.

The win was the 30th of the season for the Saints (30-7, 10-2 PBC) while the pair of losses drop the Braves to 16-23 and 2-8 in PBC play.

Game 1: #6 North Georgia 4, UNC Pembroke 0

North Georgia was able to ease out to an early 1-0 lead in the first frame of the day's first game as Taylor Anne Merritt (2-4) scored off a fielding error by the Braves' shortstop. The shortstop would later commit another error in the second that allowed senior Callie Fernandez to also score an unearned run.

Victoria St. Clair's run in the fourth inning, a stolen base, and Merritt's fifth-inning score were both scored as earned despite the Braves committing four errors in the game. Both Merritt and Ansley Phillips secured multiple hits in the game with Phillips going 2-2 with a run batted in.

North Georgia tallied seven hits compared to UNCP's eight.

Sophomore Melissa Dickie (9-3) recorded her third shutout of the season, and second in a week, as she struck out four batters. Starr Gilley (6-7) pitched the first four innings for the Braves, giving up four hits and three runs, only one earned, while striking out seven batters.

Game 2: #6 North Georgia 8, UNC Pembroke 2

The day's second game saw North Georgia's bats heat up as the Saints out-hit the Braves 13-6. The Saints also capitalized on three more UNCP errors in the game scoring two runs in the first and fourth innings, three more in the sixth and a final run in the top of the seventh.

Senior Karlie Gillam (2-4) crossed the plate twice for the Saints in the contest, including scoring the game's second run following Merritt across the dish. Both ended the day with three runs scored with Merritt going a combined 4-8 at the plate

Merritt (2-4), Gillam, Kayla Minger (2-2), Sarah Johnson (2-4) and Tiffanie Burns (2-3) all recorded two hits in the second game for North Georgia with both Minger and Burns recording a pair of RBIs each.

The Braves' pair of runs came in the bottom of the first and sixth innings as PBC Freshman of the Week Courtney Poole (18-4) earned her sixth win in a row, and league-best 18th win of the season. Gilley (6-8) once again was saddled with the loss for UNCP, pitching four innings in which she struck out six batters while giving up four earned runs.

The No. 6 Saints will return home this coming Friday, Mar. 29 for a critical PBC doubleheader as they will welcome No. 4 Armstrong Atlantic State University (22-3-1, 5-1 PBC) to Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. The top-10 matchup will start at 5:00 p.m. with the second game to follow at 7:00 p.m.