UNC Pembroke Clinches First Peach Belt Softball Championship
DAHLONEGA, Ga. - UNC Pembroke captured its first Peach Belt
Conference title in softball on Monday afternoon as the Braves
swept North Georgia in a doubleheader at the NGCSU Softball Complex
to win the league's regular season crown, securing the No. 1 seed
in the conference tournament scheduled for later this month.
UNCP (39-10, 15-1 PBC) took game one, 3-1, with freshman Martika Elmore picking up her 20th win of the season. Elmore tallied nine strikeouts in the contest to improve to 201 K's for her career. Fellow freshman Whitney Landwermeyer pitched a five-hit shutout against the Saints (29-9, 10-6 PBC) in the second game as Pembroke won by a final of 4-0.
The championship for the Braves marks the first outright title that a women's program at UNCP has won in the PBC. In 1993 the volleyball team was co-champions playing a limited schedule and finishing with a record of 4-1. In this year's Peach Belt preseason coaches poll the Braves were selected to finish eighth in the league.
In game one, the Braves picked up a run in the third on an Anna Williamson double to centerfield to plate Brittany Berrier for a 1-0 lead. UNCP added two more in the fourth as Katie Linkous singled to bring home a run, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Berrier.
North Georgia had their chances in the game, leaving 11 runners stranded, including two in the bottom of the seventh. The Saints trailed by three in the bottom half of the final frame, and quickly pushed across a run as Courtney McGuire singled to bring Laura Voyles home and make it 3-1.
With the tying runs in scoring position, Elmore recorded two straight fly outs and a strikeout to end the game and give the Braves a two-run win and the PBC regular season championship.
With the victory, Elmore improved to 20-3 on the season allowing one run on seven hits while striking out nine. Sarah Phillips (13-5) suffered the loss, scattering nine hits in seven complete innings while striking out a game-high 11 batters.
In game two, the Braves went right to work in the second inning as Linkous singled down the leftfield line to score Courtney Hill and give UNCP an early 1-0 lead. They would add three more in the sixth as Jelena Shaw sent a
two-run homer over the fence in center field to give the Braves a 4-0 game two win.
Whitney Landwermeyer (6-4) picked up the win in a complete-game shutout, allowing five hits while striking out five. Nicole Adkison falls to 8-2 with the loss, lasting 5.1 innings and being charged with six hits and four runs.
UNCP will finish out the conference season on Saturday when the Braves host Lander on Saturday afternoon at LRA Softball Field. The Black & Gold will bid farewell to three seniors (Berrier, Linkous and Williamson) who will make their final appearance in front of the UNCP faithful. Game time is set for 2 p.m. with admission free to the public.