University of North Georgia junior ace Courtney Poole tossed a three-hit shutout and sophomore catcher Jessica Finch provided the game-winning two-run single in the first inning to help beat No. 8 Georgia College, 2-0 in the Division II Southeast Super Regional on Saturday in Dahlonega. With the win, the Nighthawks (49-7) advance to its fourth Division II College World Series.
North Georgia last made the College World Series in 2011.
The first inning of the game saw the majority of the game’s offensive action. North Georgia got a two-out rally going in the top of the first inning when Tiffanie Burns earned a two-out walk. Ansley Phillips followed with a single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw to third.
Finch took advantage of the runners in scoring position, driving them in with a two-run single to right giving North Georgia the 2-0 lead.
“My hat goes off to Jamie (Grodecki) and her squad,” North Georgia coach Mike Davenport said. “They definitely could represent us out in Oklahoma City, they have a team that’s good enough to win the National Championship I believe. Our kids were just so resilient. To beat them as many times as we did this year, and with what was at stake every time was impressive.”
Both teams missed on other scoring opportunities in the game as the Nighthawks came away without a run in the top of the fourth after having the bases loaded with no outs.
The Bobcats missed out on a run in the bottom of the fourth as Danielle Bernstein was called out for leaving first base early and just two pitches later, Kristen Brooks roped a double in the right center gap, which would have most likely scored the speedster from first.
Just as the Bobcats were trying to start a rally in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on first and one out, Lacey Najafi lined a ball right into the glove of Kim McMillan at first who stepped on the bag to double up Brooks and send the Nighthawks to the World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Nighthawks will open play at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on Thursday.
Game time is to be announced.