The pairings for the 2019 Peach Belt Conference Softball Tournament have been set and sixth-seeded Francis Marion University will face third-seeded Young Harris College (36-16) in a quarterfinal game on Friday (May 3) at 1:30 p.m. in Dahlonega, Ga.
The single-elimination tournament will be played at the University of North Georgia's Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. Daily general admission is $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, children ages 6-12, military, and faculty and staff. PBC students are admitted free with a valid school ID. Tournaments passes are also available for $15 and $10.
In Friday's other quarterfinals, second-seeded Columbus State University (35-15) will face seventh-seeded Georgia Southwestern State University (27-25) at 11 a.m., top-seeded and fourth-ranked North Georgia (39-11) will play eighth-seeded UNC Pembroke (22-26) at 4 p.m., and fourth-seeded Flagler College (30-22) will play fifth-seeded Georgia College (34-17) at 6:30 p.m.
The semifinals are set for Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., with the championship game to follow at 4 p.m.
Francis Marion (31-18) increased both its overall and PBC win totals over the 2018 campaign, picking up 12 more total victories and grabbing five more conference wins than last season. The Patriots knocked off eight of their 10 Peach Belt opponents at least once this year.
Francis Marion owns with the second-highest scoring offense in the PBC, averaging 5.4 runs per game. Senior shortstop Taylor Johnson leads the Peach Belt in runs scored with 48 in 42 games. Her .390 batting average ranks fourth in the conference, while her slugging percentage (.706) and on-base percentage (.491) are third and fourth, respectively. She has registered 10 home runs and driven in 34 runs.
Senior first baseman Jessica Harney also has 10 homers and leads FMU with 39 RBIs.
Patriot sophomore right-hander Katelyn Ellard anchors the Francis Marion pitching staff. She is tied for the league-lead in total appearances (38) and complete games (23), owns an 18-9 record, has tossed 194.0 innings (second-most in the PBC), and finished tied for third in strikeouts (211). Her three saves equals the FMU single-season record.
Young Harris leads the all-time series 8-6 after the two teams split their 2019 regular-season doubleheader. FMU picked up a 2-1 win in the opener as Ellard tossed a six-hitter, but the Mountain Lions returned the favor with a 2-1 victory in game two, despite the Patriots putting the tying run on third base in each of the last two frames. Friday's contest will be the first-ever meeting between Francis Marion and Young Harris in the postseason.
Peach Belt Conference 2019 Softball Tournament in Dahlonega, Ga.
Quarterfinals – Friday, May 3
11 am - #7 Georgia Southwestern vs. #2 Columbus State
1:30 pm - #6 Francis Marion vs. #3 Young Harris
4 pm - #8 UNC Pembroke vs. #1 North Georgia
6:30 pm - #5 Georgia College vs. #4 Flagler
Semifinals – Saturday, May 4
11 am - Winners of the 11 am and 1:30 pm games
1:30 pm - Winners of the 4 and 6:30 pm games
4 pm – Winners of the two semifinal games