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North Georgia wins World Series opener in walk-off fashion
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SALEM, VA — Courtney McGuire’s walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning propelled top-ranked North Georgia State College & University to a 5-3 victory over No. 19 Dixie State (UT) College on Thursday’s in the 2009 NCAA Division II Softball Championships at the Moyer Complex in Salem, VA.

McGuire’s homer completed a comeback for the Lady Saints, who scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to force extra innings.

In the bottom of the 10th, Laura Voyles walked, and advanced to second on Kasey Knight’s sacrifice bunt. McGuire followed with the two-run game-winning home run to left field.

Dixie State broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the fifth on Jaki Hawkins’ three-run home run to left-center field.

The Red Storm, who was held hitless through the first four innings, opened the fifth with back-to-back singles by Haley Schumers and Kelsey Mendenhall. Breanna Egge’s sacrifice bunt advanced Schumers to third and Mendenhall to second, before Hawkins’ fifth homer of the season. Down to their final strike in the bottom of the seventh, North Georgia (49-3) answered with Laura Voyles’ three-run home run to left-center field that scored pinch-runners Caroline Bower, a graduate of North Hall High, and Kim Stercay to tie the score at 3-3 and force extra innings. Laura Voyles had three hits, drove in three and scored a pair of runs for the Saints. Hilary Cox also had three hits.

Sarah Phillips pitched a complete-game and struck out eight for North Georgia to improve to 38-1 on the season.

Phillips gave up three earned runs, scattered six hits and walked one.

Mendenhall and Hawkins each had two hits for the Red Storm. Schumers and Katlyn Peters had a hit apiece to account for the other two Dixie State (41-12) hits.

Lauren Folta suffered the loss and slipped to 15-5. Folta gave up five runs on 10 hits. Folta didn’t have a strikeout and walked two.

North Georgia advances in the winner’s bracket to face No. 4 Angelo State (OK) at noon Friday. Dixie State will face the University of Indianapolis at noon Saturday.

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