ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — In a battle of the top two teams in the country, second-ranked Valdosta State University exploded early and held on for a 6-1 victory over top-ranked North Georgia College & State University, ending the Saints’ bid for a perfect season in the second round of the NCAA Division II World Series Friday afternoon at Heritage Park in Saint Joseph, Mo.
The Lady Saints (51-1) and moved to 3-3 all-time in the Division II College World Series.
With the loss, North Georgia falls to the loser’s bracket and faces the winner of today’s Wayne State/Metro State game at 7:30 p.m.
Valdosta State (50-8), winners of 17 of their last 19 games, will have a day’s rest before resuming play on Sunday.
North Georgia continued to do what they had all year long in the opening inning as the Saints used speed to jump out on top in the first inning. Laura Voyles drew a walk to start the game and All-American Lauren Dykes punched a bunt back to the pitcher and beat the throw at first to put runners on the corners.
North Georgia stayed aggressive as Courtney McGuire stepped to the plate and Dykes swiped second and Voyles scored on a double steal to take a 1-0 lead.
Valdosta State wasted little time knotting the score in the second inning as Sarah Vaughn singled up the middle with two outs, sending Ariel Shaw home from second just under the tag of catcher Natasha Willemse.
The Blazers stayed red hot in the third inning with four more runs to jump out to a 5-1 lead. The Lady Blazers used four hits to take the lead and took advantage of a North Georgia throwing error in the process.
Valdosta State continued to capitalize on mistakes by the Saints’ defense in the sixth inning as a pair of miscues led to another run and a 6-1 lead by the Blazers.
Sarah Phillips falls to 44-1 on the year, her first loss since the semifinals of the 2009 World Series against Lock Haven. The junior allowed six runs on eight hits, while walking three and striking out four.
Valdosta State’s Holly Satterfield earned the win and improved to 27-3 on the year as she allowed just two hits and one unearned run, while walking a pair and striking out eight North Georgia batters.