The second-seeded North Georgia College & State University softball team escaped with a 7-6 win over Georgia College on Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference tournament at Cougar Field in Columbus.
The No. 11 Saints had the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Katherine Martin drew a walk-off walk, advancing the Lady Saints (44-7) to today’s semifinals.
North Georgia struggled to get the Georgia College (25-24) hitters out all afternoon. But, after a double play was turned in the top of the seventh inning with no one out in the inning, the momentum switched to the Lady Saints going to the bottom half.
The Saints half of the seventh started with a Rochelle Shuman single up the middle, which was followed by a Hilary Cox walk, bringing Karlie Gillam to the plate.
Gillam drew an intentional walk to load the bases with no outs.
In the sixth inning, Tiffanie Burns connected on a three-run home run with a 2-0 count in the bottom of the sixth inning. Burns finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
The Lady Saints found themselves behind 3-0 early in the first inning, when Jessica Coan gave up a three-run blast off the bat of Haley Burnett.
YOUNG HARRIS SPLITS WITH COASTAL GEORGIA: Young Harris College and the College of Coastal Georgia split a softball doubleheader Saturday at E.D. Rivers Field in Young Harris.
The Mountain Lions used a six-run second inning en route to a 7-1 win in the first game, while the Mariners scored a run in the top of the seventh to take a 6-5 win in Game 2.
Young Harris ended its season at 26-21, while Coastal Georgia ended its first-ever softball campaign at 5-23.
The Mountain Lions scored six times in the second inning of the first game.
Sydnee Weaver gave Young Harris a 1-0 lead on her single to left, while Paige Sexton drove in two more with a double to left-center field. Emily Wilson connected on her team-high sixth homer, a three-run shot to left-center to complete the scoring.
NORTH GEORGIA BASEBALL TAKES 2: Quality pitching and timely hitting helped the North Georgia College & State University baseball team take both ends of a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader against Augusta State on Saturday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium in Dahlonega.
With the sweep, the Saints (22-22, 12-14 PBC) have now won three conference series in a row, while the Jaguars (13-35, 4-25 PBC) have lost four straight contests.
The North Georgia offense broke out early and often against the Jaguars, plating three runs in the first thanks to consecutive two-out RBI hits by Matthew Black, Terrell Jones, and Travis Naraine in a 9-5 victory in Game 1.
The Saints pounded out 13 hits, and every starter reached base safely en route to their 11th conference victory of the season.
Saints pitcher Jacob Beauchamp continued to stymie Peach Belt Conference batters as he picked up his fifth win of the season, tossing six innings, scattering seven hits and allowing just one run. He delivered his sixth straight quality conference start striking out three batters along way.
In Game 2, Saints starter Blake Hobby tossed seven shutout innings and struck out six in a 2-0 win to earn his eighth victory of the season and the 27th of his career. The victory gives Hobby the school’s all-time record for wins, passing former Saints great Stephen Flake.
Hobby has now won his last five starts, tossing at least six innings in each start, and surrendering no more than four runs. Reese Patten worked the final two innings to pick up his third save of the season.
The Saints pounced on the Jaguars early once again plating a run in the top of the first when Travis Naraine roped a liner to left field to bring Derek Hooper home.
YOUNG HARRIS 5, HIWASSEE COLLEGE 3: David Atwood had four hits and drove in three runs for the Mountain Lions on Saturday at Zell Miller Field in Young Harris.
The Mountain Lions (35-10) won their sixth consecutive game. Young Harris returns to action Tuesday against Tennessee Wesleyan College.
On Saturday, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth thanks to a Young Harris error. The Mountain Lions took the lead for good when Atwood connected on his seventh homer of the season and deposited it over the left field fence. Spencer Thomas and Tom Valichka had reached base on singles in front of Atwood’s homers.
Young Harris took a 4-1 lead later in the inning when Adam Moore and Jack Morrow hit back-to-back doubles.