AMERICUS, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern State University softball team dropped a pair of Peach Belt Conference games to second-ranked North Georgia Saturday at Lady Canes Field. The Nighthawks took Game 1 7-0 before a 13-5 five inning run-rule victory in Game 2.
GSW falls to 18-27 overall and 7-9 in Peach Belt play while the Nighthawks improved to 47-2 and 13-1 in the PBC.
How It Happened:
Game 1: Georgia Southwestern 0 North Georgia 7
A pitching duel through through three full innings, GSW starter Madason Messer held the powerful Nighthawks lineup off the scoreboard until the fourth when they got the bats going. UNG put up six runs on five hits in the inning to break open the game, the big hits coming on two-run doubles from both Alishia Frierson and Hobby Gregory.
Ansley Dean replaced Messer in the fourth and went the rest of the way, giving up just one run on three hits in 3 ⅔ innings in the circle. UNG ace Kylee Smith picked up her 24th win of the season and had a no-hitter going through five innings before Zoeller broke it up with a single up the middle. It was the only hit GSW could manage off Smith, Riley Patton and Laken Chambers. Marley Stowers was the lone Nighthawk with two hits in Game 1, going 2-for-4 with a triple.
Game 2: Georgia Southwestern 5 North Georgia 13
The Nighthawks didn't waste time getting on the board in Game 2 by putting up two runs on four hits in the first inning as both runs crossed the plate on an RBI double from Kaylyn Anthony. GSW answered and tied the game in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a two-run single off the bat of Lauren Kuerzi following back-to-back singles from Barlow and Zoeller.
UNG proved to have too much offensively for the Lady Canes pitching staff as the Nighthawks scored 11 runs to take a 13-2 lead over the next three innings off of starter Brittany Childs and Messer.
The Lady Canes showed fight in the bottom half of the fourth by putting three runs of their own on the board. The first came on the eighth home run of the season from freshman outfielder Elizabeth Wills, a solo shot over the fence in right. After senior Allee Denney followed with a double and Cassidy Burton singled and advanced on an error, Barlow came through with a two-run double to center making the score 13-5.
Kylee Smith came back to the circle after the Barlow double and got the final two outs before shutting it down in the fifth to close out the run-rule victory for UNG. Zoeller and Barlow each recorded two hits to pace the Lady Canes while Brittany Gilliam and Hobby Gregory each picked up three hits for the Nighthawks.
Up Next: The Lady Canes are scheduled to play Young Harris Sunday at Lady Canes Field. Weather permitting the doubleheader will start at 2:00 p.m., but will be pushed to Monday in the case of inclement weather.