Posted: Monday, February 11th 2013 at 12:16am
Saints softball wraps tourney with two-game sweep
DAHLONEGA -– The 12th-ranked University of North Georgia softball team wrapped up its own Captain D's Classic at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium Sunday by sweeping both of its two games. The Saints first took a 9-4 victory over the University of Alabama-Huntsville before claiming a 7-2 victory in a rain-shortened game over Lincoln Memorial University.
In the first game of the day, Alabama-Huntsville run-ruled Lander University 10-2 in five innings. The Bearcats then bounced back by run-ruling the Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial 11-2 in five innings.
Game 1: #12 North Georgia 9, Alabama-Huntsville 4
The Saints went up early in the second inning with a two-run home run from Tiffanie Burns, but the Chargers made a game of it with four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Abby MacKay singled to score Mary Kelley two batters before Meagan Billingsley homered straight out to center field, scoring three more runs and putting Alabama-Huntsville up 4-2.
North Georgia was able to close to within one run in the top of the fourth inning when Meagan May and Burns pulled off a double steal that scored May and the Saints then retook the lead in the fifth inning with three runs before adding three insurance runs in the sixth.
In the fifth, it was Taylor Ann Merritt and Rochell Shuman scoring off a single to right field by Callie Fernandez before Brooke Herkel scored off a single to the other side of the field by Sarah Johnson.
Kim McMillan ripped her third homer of the season to lead off the sixth inning and Karlie Gillam singled to deep right-center field to score Shuman and Merritt and set the score at the final 9-4.
Freshman Courtney Poole came in to pitch the final half of the game to earn her fourth win of the season while Gilbert accepted the loss in the circle for the Chargers.
Gillam went 3-3 at the plate for the Saints with two runs batted in and another scored to lead the way at the plate for the Saints while McNeal also went 3-3 for Alabama-Huntsville.
Game 2: #12 North Georgia 7, Lincoln Memorial 2
With the rain threatening to pour down at any moment, the Saints and Railsplitters worked quickly to get the final game of the tournament in. Lincoln Memorial started things off with two runs off an Amanda Snow home run to left field, but the Saints refused to drop two to LMU as they came roaring back with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Minger recorded a pair of RBIs with a double to right-center field that scored Merritt and McMillan and Fernandez then scored Martin from third when she grounded out to the second baseman. Gillam wrapped up the scoring in the inning when she sent a sacrifice fly to the pitcher to score Minger.
The Saints would add the final three runs in the next inning off a Merrit single, an error by the shortstop and a Minger groundout to the first baseman.
In total, the Saints recorded six hits while capitalizing on three errors by the Railsplitters to win the game that ended after catcher Katie Block and Burns caught Brianna Mulkey trying to steal second in the fifth inning as the rains made the field un-playable.
Poole (5-0) picked up her second win of the day, and third of the weekend, as she pitched all five innings for the Saints while striking out two batters. Smantha Smith accepted the loss for the Railsplitters and falls to 0-3 for the year.
The Saints will next play at home when the Mountain Lions of Mars Hill College come calling at "The Hill." The two will play a region doubleheader starting at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
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