No.2 Nighthawks blank Patriots in softball action

No.2 Nighthawks blank Patriots in softball action

DAHLONEGA, GA – Second-ranked University of North Georgia swept a Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader from visiting Francis Marion University, winning 4-0 and 8-0 on Wednesday (March 21) amid gusty winds and snow flurries.

Francis Marion (13-17, 1-7) will return to Florence to play host to Fayetteville State University for a non-conference doubleheader on Friday beginning at 3 p.m.

In game one, UNG right-hander Kylee Smith (18-0) remained unbeaten as she tossed a three-hitter.  The nation's leader in strikeouts fanned 11 Patriots.

FMU sophomore righty Sydney Holland (8-10) absorbed the loss as she allowed four runs (all earned) on five hits with four strikeouts.

The Patriots placed a runner in scoring position in the first and third innings, but were unable to break-up the scoreless tie.

North Georgia (34-1, 6-0) scored three times in the bottom of the fourth – the key hit a two-out, two-run single up the middle by first baseman Brittany Gilliam – and added an insurance run in the fifth.

In the seventh, Francis Marion got two runners on base thanks to singles by senior first baseman Jessica Harney and junior second baseman Jennie Polak, but Smith recorded the final two outs to snuff out the threat.

In the second contest, the Nighthawks scored once in the second inning and plated seven runs in the fourth.  Gilliam started the fourth-inning outburst with a triple and later stroked a 2-run double.

Patriot freshman righty Reece Davis (5-6) was the losing pitcher as she surrendered five earned runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of work.

Amber Johns (11-1) tossed a one-hitter, while striking out four.

FMU junior shortstop Taylor Johnson led off game two with a walk and was sacrificed to second, but was stranded there. Patriot freshman center fielder Karson Parker accounted for FMU's lone hit with a one-out double in the third inning, but advanced no further.

Francis Marion was looking for its first win over a Top-5 opponent since a 6-0 blanking of second-ranked Kutztown University on Feb. 6, 2014.

 

#2 North Georgia 4, Francis Marion 0 (Mar 21, 2018 at Dahlonega, Ga.) (Game 1)
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Francis Marion...... 000 000 0 -  0  3  2      (13-16, 1-6 PBC)
North Georgia....... 000 310 X -  4  5  0      (33-1, 5-0 PBC)
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Pitchers: Francis Marion - Sydney Holland and Jaimie Harney. North Georgia - Kylee Smith and
Shelby Hammontree.
Win-Kylee Smith (18-0)  Loss-Sydney Holland (8-10)  T-1:15  A-137
Weather: Cloudy, 40, Wind WSW 15 mph

#2 North Georgia 8, Francis Marion 0 (Mar 21, 2018 at Dahlonega, Ga.) (Game 2)
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Francis Marion...... 000 00 -  0  1  1      (13-17, 1-7 PBC)
North Georgia....... 010 7X -  8 10  0      (34-1, 6-0 PBC)
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Pitchers: Francis Marion - Reece Davis; Sydney Holland(4) and Jaimie Harney. North Georgia -
Amber Johns and Shelby Hammontree.
Win-Amber Johns (11-0)  Loss-Reece Davis (5-6)  T-1:23  A-187
Weather: Cloudy, 41, Wind WSW 18 mph