Patriots drop a pair to #15 North Georgia

Patriots drop a pair to #15 North Georgia

Dahlonega, Ga. (March 31, 2014) – The Francis Marion University softball team dropped a pair of games to the 15th ranked University of North Georgia on Monday afternoon in Dahlonega, Ga. The Nighthawks took the first game 4-1 before winning the second contest 8-5.

The Patriots drop to 18-20 overall and 4-8 in Peach Belt Conference play. FMU will return home to face UNC Pembroke on Wednesday, April 2. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at the FMU Softball Stadium.

In the first game, senior righty Taylor Luff (9-11) took the loss in the circle despite posting six strikeouts. UNG (32-8, 12-2) starter Courtney Poole (15-7) struck out four while earning the victory.

A homer in the bottom of the first inning, and a two-RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, contributed to a 4-0 lead for the Nighthawks after six innings. Sophomore outfielder Jessie Sims opened the top of the seventh inning with a single to try and kick start a Patriot rally.

She advanced to third on a single by Luff, and would score FMU's lone run of the game. However, on the play, freshman outfielder Briana Barzola was called out at second base, which ended the game.   

Sims was 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored. Senior designated player Lindsey Brown was 1-for-2 with a walk, while Barzola and senior outfielder Megan Smith each recorded a base knock.

The Nighthawks struck for eight runs between the third and fifth innings to earn an 8-5 victory in game two. FMU junior pitcher Katie Carnes (9-9) took the loss in the circle after allowing six earned runs in three innings of work. UNG's Victoria Sink (17-1) earned the victory despite five earned runs and five strikeouts. Courtney Poole earned the save.

Sophomore catcher Taylor Barrineau kicked off the top of the second inning with a walk, and pinch runner Mikala Barnhart stole second base. She scored the first run of the game on a RBI single by Sims to put FMU up 1-0.

The Nighthawks struck for four runs in the bottom of the third, and put up a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth to take an 8-1 lead after five innings. Senior shortstop Kristie Hanewinckel opened the top of the sixth inning with a double to left field, and later scored on an error by UNG first baseman Kim McMillan to make the score 8-2.

In the top of the seventh, the Patriots loaded the bases with walks drawn by Sims and Smith, while Barzola reached on an error. Hanewinckel and junior first baseman Ashley Burney hit back-to-back RBI singles to cut the UNG lead to 8-4. Freshman catcher Danielle Myers had an RBI groundout to make the final tally 8-5.

Hanewinckel was 2-for-4 at the plate with a RBI. Sims and Burney both recorded a hit and a RBI, while Barzola and Smith added a hit and each scored a run.  

McMillan was 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs for the Nighthawks. Jessica Finch and Megan May each had three hits and a RBI.


#15 Univ. of N. Georgia 4, Francis Marion Univ. 1 (Mar 31, 2014 at Dahlonega, Ga.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion Univ. 000 000 1 -  1  5  1      (18-19, 4-7 PBC)
Univ. of N. Georgia. 100 300 X -  4  5  3      (31-8, 11-2 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion Univ. - Taylor Luff and Taylor Barrineau. Univ. of N. Georgia -
Courtney Poole and Amanda Hawkins.
Win-Courtney Poole(15-7)  Loss-Taylor Luff(9-11)  T-1:52  A-98
HR UNG - Kim McMillan (1).

#15 Univ. of N. Georgia 8, Francis Marion Univ. 5 (Mar 31, 2014 at Dahlonega, Ga.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion Univ. 010 001 3 -  5  6  0      (18-20, 4-8 PBC)
Univ. of N. Georgia. 004 220 X -  8 13  3      (32-8, 12-2 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion Univ. - Katie Carnes; Taylor Luff(4) and Taylor Barrineau;
Mikala Barnhart; Danielle Myers; /. Univ. of N. Georgia - Victoria Sink; Courtney Poole(7) and
Jessica Finch; Amanda Hawkins.
Win-Victoria Sink(17-1)  Save-Courtney Poole(1)  Loss-Katie Carnes(9-10)  T-2:20  A-0
Carnes faced 3 batters in the 4th.
Sink faced 5 batters in the 7th.