SALEM, Va. — The No. 1 team in the country saw its season come to a close two wins shy of a National Championship, as North Georgia College & State University fell 8-1 to No. 2 Lock Haven in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Softball Championships on Sunday afternoon at the Moyer Sports Complex.
Lock Haven beat the Saints 8-0 in the first game Sunday.
It was the first time North Georgia lost back-to-back games this year, putting a lid on the most successful season in school history with a record of 50-5. North Georgia captured the Peach Belt Conference Regular Season Championship, PBC Tournament Championship, NCAA Southeast Dahlonega Regional Championship, and the NCAA Southeast Super Regional Dahlonega Championship to advance to their first Division II College World Series.
North Georgia claimed the nation’s top ranking on May 6, and won a pair of games at the Division II College World Series in dramatic comeback fashion, but could not get past Lock Haven in the semifinal round to extend the season. The Lady Eagles (50-6) will advance to the National Championship game today to take on Alabama-Huntsville.
Lock Haven picked up right where they left off against the Saints earlier in the day, scoring four first-inning runs on five hits to jump on top 4-0 in the opening frame.
The Lady Eagles then added two more runs in the second inning, using a pair of hits and a key North Georgia error to plate two more runs.
The Saints had their lone bright spot in the fifth inning as Hilary Cox connected and launched her sixth home run of the season down the left field line to cut into the Lock Haven lead to 6-1.
The Lady Eagles added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to extend their lead to 8-1, a margin that held true to the final out.
Sarah Phillips (39-3) was denied a victory for the second straight game, tossing just one inning and allowing four runs — all earned — on five hits while striking out one. The First-Team All-American will end the season second in the nation in wins, sitting at 59 wins after her sophomore year at North Georgia.
Senior Kaelin Farrington played in her final game for North Georgia, as the lone graduate on the squad led the Saints to their highest finish in school history.