North Georgia Blanks Molloy 4-0 to Open World Series
ST. JOSEPH, MO – Top-ranked North Georgia
began their quest for a National Championship on Thursday
afternoon, using timely hitting and stellar defense to top Molloy
College 4-0 in the opening game of the 2010 NCAA Division II
National Championships at Heritage Park.
North Georgia’s unbeaten run continues, as the team is now 51-0 and advance to Friday’s round of the NCAA Division II National Championships at 4:00 p.m. CST against the winner of Valdosta State and Bloomsburg. The Saints are now 3-2 all-time in the Division II World Series, and 2-0 in opening-round contests.
Molloy, making their first appearance in the National Championships, fall to 43-20 on the year and will make their way to the loser’s bracket and Saturday’s consolation round of the tournament.
Molloy threatened in the opening inning as the leadoff hitter walked, and Jeana Frey followed with a bunt single to put a pair on with no outs. Following a force play at third for the first out of the game, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with just one out.
North Georgia then put together a dazzling defensive play as a grounder to the right side was stabbed by Laura Voyles, and after throwing to first for the out, Katherine fired a strike to third, forcing a rundown between third and home and Kasey Knight finally applied the tag to end the inning and the Lions’ first-inning threat.
Voyles stepped to the plate in the bottom half of the first inning and picked up right where she left off in the Southeast Super Regionals, belting the fourth pitch she saw over the fence in left-center, a solo blast to give the Saints the lead at 1-0. Courtney McGuire added to the North Georgia lead in the fourth inning as the senior skied a ball to right field that caught the wind and inched out of the park, giving the Saints their second solo shot of the game and making it a 2-0 advantage.
North Georgia added to their lead in the fourth inning as Lauren Dykes reached base on an infield single and stole second before being lifted for Jessica Skeels who came around to score on a triple of the bat of McGuire, her second hit, and second RBI of the game. Hilary Cox stepped to the plate two batters later and laced a single to right field, sending McGuire trotting home and extending the Saints lead to 4-0.
Sarah Phillips picks up her 10th win of the postseason, as the junior is now 44-0 on the year, tossing her 39th complete game of the year, and 23rd shutout of the season. She allowed just three hits in all 7.0 innings of work, while walking two and striking out six.
North Georgia is now just four wins shy of tying the NCAA’s all-time mark for consecutive wins, while moving three wins away from becoming the first softball team in history at any level to capture a National Championships with a perfect record.