The No. 9 University of North Georgia softball team clinched its fourth consecutive Peach Belt Conference title with a doubleheader sweep of Columbus State on Saturday in Dahlonega.
The Nighthawks, who became just the second team in PBC history to win the conference in four straight years and the first since Kennesaw State did it from 1995-1998, started the day with a run-rule, 17-0 win before enacting the mercy rule again for an 8-0 victory in Game 2.
North Georgia (40-10, 19-4 PBC) began Game 1 with a four-run first inning that featured three doubles. The Nighthawks posted 10 runs in the third frame, highlighted by Alishia Frierson’s grand slam. She finished with two home runs in the opening game, while Kristen Adkins also homered as a pinch-hitter.
Jordan Deep enacted the mercy rule in Game 2 with a two-run single in the sixth inning. Sydney Sprague went 6 for 9 with four doubles on the day for North Georgia.
Kylee Smith (23-4) started and won both games for the Nighthawks, who close the regular season with a makeup game at Montevallo at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Daniel McCrary pitched more than seven innings of one-run ball as No. 1 North Georgia beat Columbus State 5-3 on Saturday in Columbus.
The Nighthakws (31-8, 15-5 Peach Belt Conference) took a 5-0 lead before the Cougars responded in the bottom of the sixth. Columbus State had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but North Georgia escaped with the win.
McCrary (7-1) give up just four hits and struck out six, while teammate Connor Hoover went 3 for 5 with a double, a home run and two RBIs.
The Nighthawks can take the series when the two teams meet for the rubber match at 1 p.m. today.