DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia College & State
University scored the only run of the game in the sixth inning
before holding on in the last of the seventh and benefiting from a
substitution error to defeat Carson-Newman 1-0 and claim the
Southeast Super Regional Championship.
The Saints continue their historic run through the playoffs, winning 25 consecutive game after capturing the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament championship, the NCAA Southeast Regional, and now the NCAA Southeast Super Regional to earn one of eight spots in the Division II College World Series.
The only run of the game came in the sixth inning as Kasey Knight singled to left field to lead off and moved to second on a sacrifice by Courtney McGuire. Leslee Smith and lined a single to right field, sending Knight to third and Smith to second on the throw. North Georgia then scored the lone run of the game as Pilar Harden guided a bouncing single through the left side, bringing Knight racing to the plate for a 1-0 advantage.
After the Saints squandered a scoring chance in the seventh, Carson-Newman came to the plate and loaded the bases before coaxing a walk to force in a run that would later be taken off the scoreboard after an illegal substitution provided the second out of the inning.
After nearly an hour delay for ruling to put in place, Sarah Phillips walked Amber Hewitt forced another walk to load the bases once again before Leah Price sent a grounder to second, a ball Kaelin Farrington scooped up and threw to first base, sending the Saints into celebration at the pitcher’s circle.
Phillips (37-1) picks up her 34th consecutive victory, tossing her second complete game shutout in the last three games. The sophomore allowed just three hits while striking out four and walking four.
Stephanie Templeton (12-4) suffered her second straight loss, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out one and walking two.
It has been 60 days since the Saints lost their last game, as the #1 team in the country holds the best winning percentage at .940 with a record of 48-3. North Georgia is just two wins away from the school record for wins, a mark posted in 2003 with 50 wins and eight losses.
The Saints enter the NCAA Division II College World Series for the first time in school history as the program is in its second year of championship eligibility after entering the NCAA in 2006 and serving two provisional seasons