Friday September 4th, 2015 8:27AM

North Georgia softball clinches Regional victory, set for Super Regional

By staff reports
DAHLONEGA -- Top-seeded University of North Georgia advanced through the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium unscathed, finishing off the three days of action with a 2-1 victory over fifth-seeded Wingate on Sunday.

The win guaranteed that the Nighthawks will host 19th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State in the Southeast Super Regional May 16-17.

The 2014 Super Regional will mark the fourth time in the last five years that North Georgia has played host to the three game series. The Super Regional winner will advance to the 2014 NCAA Division II Championship on May 22-26 at Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va.

UNG third baseman Ansley Phillips provided her team with an early spark in the top of the first inning, knocking in center fielder Taylor Anne Merritt on a double to right field to give the Nighthawks a 1-0 lead.

Wingate answered quickly, posting a run in the bottom of the first thanks to a heads-up play by second baseman Mellena Helms, who advanced from second all the way to home plate on a fielding error by North Georgia.

The game remained 1-1 until the top of the third inning when first baseman Kim McMillan doubled to left field, bringing home shortstop Tiffanie Burns to help North Georgia hold a 2-1 advantage.

Nighthawks starting pitcher Courtney Poole simply got better as the game wore on allowing just two hits following the first inning. Poole also struck out four Bulldogs batters and had no earned runs in seven innings of quality work. She secured the team's spot in the Super Regional after retiring the final seven batters capped by a pair of putouts by Kaitlyn Seabolt. A diving catch in front of the Bulldogs' dugout preceded a routing ground ball put out that secured the Nighthawk's spot in the final 16.

Phillips led the offensive charge for the Nighthawks at the plate, finishing the contest with a 2-for-3 mark with a double and an RBI. McMillan's batting was also pivotal for North Georgia, as her lone hit of the afternoon proved to provide her side with the game-winning run.

Wingate's defeat at the hands of the Nighthawks marks the end of the team's season. The Bulldogs finish the 2014 campaign with a record of 38-20.

The victory for the Nighthawks, ranked second in the most recent National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, leaves the team with a 46-9 record prior to the start of Super Regional play.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 8 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 8 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 8 months ago )
Jackets, Mississippi St. clash in Orange Bowl
No. 10 Georgia Tech has the nation's second-ranked rushing offense. No. 8 Mississippi State has held seven of its 12 opponents under 125 yards on the ground.
5:04PM ( 8 months ago )
Ole Miss defense braces for TCU offense in Peach Bowl
Mississippi and TCU were part of the playoffs story in 2014. Each team was part of the chase. Each team fell short of the coveted semifinals.
5:01PM ( 8 months ago )
Kiffin shining again after season of redemption
Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
11:02PM ( 8 months ago )
College Sports
(VIDEO) Game of the Week: Wolves in unusual position but fired up for McEachern challenge
Forget the 42-game win streak; forget the three straight state titles (and 10 in the past 14 seasons); Buford football still finds itself in the underdog role this week...
8:30PM ( 12 hours from now )
Week 2: Quest for playoffs begins for some regions
For several teams, the real season gets under way starting Friday.
8:00PM ( 11 hours from now )
G-Braves pull within 1 game of first place after 6-2 win
The Gwinnett Braves fell behind 2-0 on a pair of solo home runs by Christian Walker, but regrouped with six unanswered runs to defeat the Norfolk Tides 6-2 on Thursday night at Harbor Park.
By AccessWDUN staff
10:53AM ( 2 hours from now )
NASCAR Notebook: Elliott eyes repeat win at Darlington
Egg-shaped with long straightaways and short quick turns, Darlington Raceway eats up and spits out even the most experienced drivers. No one told Chase Elliott that last year.
By NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Renfree sharp as Falcons hold off Ravens' comeback, 20-19
Sean Renfree threw a touchdown pass and led another scoring drive to overshadow the preseason debut of Rex Grossman as the Atlanta Falcons held off the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 on Thursday night in their final preseason game.
5:17AM ( 3 hours ago )