#1 North Georgia Sweeps Braves In Twinbill
PEMBROKE – Riding a 15-game winning streak coming into the day No. 1 ranked North Georgia stayed undefeated on the season sweeping UNCP in a two-game set, 3-0 and 9-3, at LRA Softball Field on Sunday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Saints (17-0, 4-0 PBC) used timely hitting against the Braves remain perfect on the year while Pembroke (13-9, 4-6 PBC) drop to under .500 in conference play.
Pitcher Sarah Phillips improved to 10-0 on the year for North Georgia while teammate Krysten Connelly (3-0) earned the game-two victory in relief to pick up her third win of the season. Caroline Newman (7-7) was credited with the game-one loss as Alex Hartshorn (4-2) was saddled with the loss in game two.
Designated player Leslee Smith drove in five runs for North Georgia on two hits including a grand slam in game two while fellow Saint Lauren Dykes went 3-for-7 at the plate with a run scored and a RBI.
The Braves will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to face PBC opponent Georgia College in a two-game set beginning at 3 p.m. North Georgia will host non-conference foe #8 Le Moyne College in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
The Saints got on the board in the top of the first, scoring a run on a Smith sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to give North Georgia the early lead. The Saints posted two more runs in the top of the second, scoring on a Laura Voyles triple and then again on a Dykes single up the middle to take a 3-0 lead after two.
The Braves posted base runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings but would be unable to plate any players and would trail heading into the fifth.
Over the next three innings Pembroke would only have one base runner as Phillips shut the door on any rally attempt by the Braves.
North Georgia exploded for six runs in the top of the third of game two highlighted by Smith's grand slam to take a commanding 6-0 lead after three.
The Braves answered with their first runs of the day in the fourth inning, placing a three spot on the board with a pair of home runs that chased Phillips from the circle. Holly Berry followed a Courtney Hill double with a homer to left field, and two batters Loren Bartz launched a long ball of her own, a solo shot to center to make it a 6-3 North Georgia lead. After two more singles, Connelly came on to pitch and worked her way out of a bases loaded jam to preserve the Saints' three-run lead.
In the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded Hilary Cox delivered three-run double to left center, clearing the bases and giving North Georgia a 9-3 lead. That would be all the Saints needed as they picked up their 17th win of the season.