Posted: Sunday, March 30th 2014 at 10:41pm
North Georgia softball takes out UNC Pembroke
By staff reports
DAHLONEGA -– The University of North Georgia softball team followed a five inning 9-1 run-rule win with a 2-1 walk off victory in the nightcap as the Nighthawks swept visiting University of North Carolina Pembroke on Sunday afternoon at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. The win moves UNG to 30-8 overall and 10-2 in league play and into a share of the top spot in the Peach Belt Conference standings.
In the opener, UNG scored in all five innings and used a solid performance from starting pitcher Courtney Poole to secure the 9-1 win. North Georgia outhit the visiting Braves 11-1 led by a perfect 3-3 performance from Kim McMillan. She scored twice and added a pair of RBI's. Taylor Merritt, Meredith Heyer and Poole each tallied two hits apiece for the Nighthawks. Tiffanie Burns added her sixth homerun of the year with a solo shot over the left field fence to lead off the third inning.
Poole (14-7) struck out eight including one in each inning and four-straight to finish out the game.
"Courtney Poole threw one of her better games in the past few weeks against a Pembroke team that swings the bats extremely well," said UNG head coach Mike Davenport. "A lot of credit also goes to Amanda Hawkins behind the plate who has done a real good job of calling Courtney's game and that has made a difference lately."
Caitlin Steel was the only Brave to record a hit for UNCP. Natalie Klemann suffered the loss in the circle dropping her record to 10-5 on the season.
The second game saw UNG's Victoria Sink and the Braves' Selena Ashley engage in a pitcher's duel with each allowing just six hits.
UNCP (17-15, 5-5 PBC) struck first with a run in the top of the second courtesy of an RBI single by Megan Hillard. Brea Hartley scored on the play after reaching with a single of her own.
The lead would be short-lived as the Nighthawks answered with a run in the bottom of the frame. Tiffanie Burns crossed the plate when Ashley allowed a bases-loaded walk to Rochelle Shuman.
The Braves threatened with two runners in scoring position with one out in the top of the fifth, but Sink forced a fielder's choice out and a ground out to get out of the jam.
North Georgia's Hannah Harden tallied a one-out infield single in the seventh to start the final inning rally. Meagan May pinch ran for Harden and advanced from first to third on a well-placed bunt down the third base line by Rochelle Shuman.
Shuman was then caught stealing second but May continued with her aggressive base running by plating the game-winning run on UNCP's throw down to second.
"May's seventh inning base running was huge for us and sometimes you just have to find other ways to win instead of waiting on the big base hit," added Davenport.
Six different Nighthawks recorded hits with Ansley Phillips recording a double in the sixth inning.
Sink earned her 16th win in just 17 tries after striking out seven and allowing just a single run.
Taylor Cloninger was 2-3 for UNCP while Ashley fell to 7-7 on the year with the loss.
North Georgia returns to action with a noon first pitch Monday against Francis Marion at "The Hill."
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