UNG softball team wins 5th straight PBC Title
It's officially a five-peat for the University of North Georgia fast pitch softball team.
The No. 1 ranked NCAA Division II squad clinched the Peach Belt Conference regular season title for a fifth time after sweeping Georgia College last week.
This weekend UNG will host the Peach Belt Tournament at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium as the Nighthawks go for the postseason title.
No. 1 Nighthawks win fifth-straight PBC regular season championship
For the fifth year in a row, the No. 1 University of North Georgia softball team won the Peach Belt Conference regular season crown by sweeping No. 20 Georgia College in a Wednesday twin bill on April 25, winning 8-1 in game one before a 4-0 shutout in the nightcap. North Georgia is now 51-2 on the year.
After leaving the bases loaded in the second inning, the Nighthawks loaded them up again in the third and cashed in with a RBI single from Shelby Hammontree to go up, 1-0. After the Bobcats hit a solo homer in the top of the fifth, North Georgia answered with an Alishia Frierson bomb to dead center to go back up, 2-1.
The Nighthawks kept the rally going in the fifth, loading up the bases for Jordan Deep, who cleared them with a double to left, increasing the UNG lead to 5-1. North Georgia loaded up the bases one more time in the sixth, making way for Kaylyn Anthony to clear them with a double of her own down the line in left to get to the final 8-1 score.
Kylee Smith pitched her 15th complete game of the year, surrendering just four hits and two walks while striking out five.
Neither team could get much going early, but UNG struck first again, this time in the fourth inning. North Georgia loaded up the bases and the Bobcats looked to be ready to get out of the jam when a costly error allowed the Nighthawks to push two runs across and take a 2-0 lead.
UNG doubled its lead in the next frame on RBI singles from Hammontree and Hobby Gregory to take the 4-0 lead before Smith came in to relieve Amber Johns and shut the door to win the regular season championship.
Smith improved to 27-1 on the year with three saves. Johns improved her record to 17-0 after her 4.1 innings of shutout softball in game two.
North Georgia breaks the Peach Belt record for consecutive regular season championships, surpassing Kennesaw State’s four straight from 1995-98. With the wins, North Georgia will be the top-seed in the Peach Belt Tournament to be played at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium next weekend.
Hammontree and Lexi Duncan led UNG at the plate, each going 3-for-5 in the doubleheader.
North Georgia has now won 50 or more games in three of the last four years.
Both Sydney Sprague and Brittany Gilliam hit homers on Senior Day as the No. 1 University of North Georgia softball team swept Flagler in the regular season finale, winning by scores of 5-0 and 5-3 Friday night, April 27, under the lights at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
After Duncan and Deep reached base, Sprague blasted her 13th homer of the season over the left center wall with two outs in the second inning to give UNG a 3-0 lead. That would prove to be enough for North Georgia in the game, but the Nighthawks put two more insurance runs on the board.
In the fourth, Gilliam doubled to right center, scoring Sprague to put North Georgia up, 4-0, before she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth which brought home the game’s final run.
Smith (28-1) gave up just one hit in her 16th complete game of the year, striking out 12 Saints along the way.
Flagler struck first in the nightcap with Jaclyn Mijuskovic blasting a second inning solo shot over the left center wall to give the Saints their first lead of the evening. That was taken away in the bottom of the second.
Anthony hit a solo shot with one out in the frame to tie the game before a RBI single by Gregory that plated two more Nighthawk runs after a throwing error by the Flagler catcher, putting UNG up, 4-1.
The Saints struck back in the third on a Maria Kappos RBI double in the top half of the third, but UNG got the run back in the bottom of the frame on Gilliam’s solo blast to right field. Flagler scratched the final run across in the seventh inning on a RBI groundout.
Bria Bush improved to 3-0 on the year after coming out of the bullpen in relief in game two. She threw 5.1 innings and struck out two.
Sprague finished the day going 4-for-6 at the plate after a perfect 3-for-3 first game. Gilliam was 2-for-5 on Senior Day.
The Nighthawks have now won 53 games on the season, making them just one win away from tying the all-time record for wins in a season. North Georgia has won 54 games twice in program history.
The Nighthawks will rest until the Peach Belt Conference tournament this weekend at The Hill. UNG, the top-seed in the tournament, will take on eighth-seeded Georgia Southwestern in the first round with game time to be announced later this week upon release of the tournament bracket once all seeds are set.
For more information go to ungathletics.com.