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Posted: Sunday, February 3rd 2013 at 9:38am

Lady Saints open softball season with sweep

By staff reports
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COLUMBUS - The 12th-ranked North Georgia softball team started its 2013 season off with a Saturday sweep of Florida Southern College and Saint Leo in the Peach Belt Conference-Sunshine State Conference Softball Challenge.

The Lady Saints commenced the tournament off with a 5-0 victory over the Moccasins of Florida Southern in the day's first game and followed that up with a 5-2 win over the Lions of Saint Leo Saturday evening.

In their win over Florida Southern, the Lady Saints' first game progressed scoreless through the first four innings before the bats came alive for North Georgia and the Saints became aggressive on the bases, scoring five runs off three hits and a Florida Southern error in the fifth inning alone.

Tiffanie Burns led off the scoring drive with a double and advanced to third on a balk before Sarah Johnson was walked and advanced to second trying to force the Mocs to chase her so Burns could cruise home, but Florida Southern didn't bite. Catcher Katie Block then ripped a single through the left side, scoring Burns and Johnson.

After Kim McMillan was walked, Callie Fernandez pinch-hit with a single to right field to score Block. McMillan then rounded third and scored on a throwing error by the left fielder that also gave Fernandez a chance to round the bases and ultimately score on a throwing error by the left fielder to lift the Saints to a 5-0 lead.

Melissa Dickie, the 2012 PBC Freshman of the Year, claimed the win in game-one with seven innings in the circle for the Saints. She struck out four batters and gave up just two hits, with a no hitter going into the fourth inning. Chelsea Oglevie was saddled with the loss for the Mocs with seven innings of work and three earned runs given up.

In their win over Saint Leo, North Georgia saw the Lions edge out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Saint Leo rode momentum from winning their previous game over No. 10 Columbus State. But North Georgia proved too difficult to tame as the Lady Saints bounced back with two runs in both the second and third innings and a final run in the fifth to secure the win.

Burns recorded her second double of the day while Meagan May and Katherine Martin led the way in the game at the plate. May went 2-3 at the plate with two runs scored while Martin went 2-2 with a run and another run batted in.

Katie Garrett and Martin put North Georgia on the board in the bottom of the second inning when the two scored off a single to right field by Johnson.

In the bottom of the next frame, McMillan led off with a home run to center field, answering a homer by the Lions' Steedley in the top of the inning. May then singled after a pitching change and rounded the bases off a stolen base, single by Martin and scored off a passed ball to put the Saints up 4-2.

May and Martin put the finishing touch on the game in the bottom of the fifth when May led off with another single and then showed her speed by rounding the bases when Martin doubled to the fence in left-center field.

Freshman Courtney Poole pitched all seven innings for the Lady Saints, striking out 14 batters while walking just one and giving up just three hits. Sarah Steiner accepted the loss for Saint Leo with three strikeouts in two innings of work that saw her also give up three hits and three earned runs.

North Georgia will be back in action on Sunday with two more games. The Lady saints will start off with an 11:30 a.m. game against Lynn University before facing Florida Institute of Technology at 2 p.m.
Associated Categories: Sports News, College Sports

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Gainesville, GA 30501
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