DAHLONEGA — The No. 3 University of North Georgia softball team fell 6-2 in nine innings to Armstrong State in the first game of the 2017 NCAA Division II Southeast Super Regional on Thursday afternoon at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
The Pirates got on the board first thanks to Katie Collins' solo home run in the top of the first inning. North Georgia struck back in the bottom of the third as Hannah McSwain led off the inning with a solo shot of her own, her third in the last three games.
The Nighthawks took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Jessica Finch reached third base on a couple of throwing errors by the Pirates, then scored on Kaylyn Anthony's RBI single for the 2-1 lead.
Collins would tie the game for the Pirates in the sixth with a solo shot, her second of the day.
A four-run ninth inning for the Pirates would be the difference.
Kylee Smith (31-6) took the loss after allowing 11 hits while striking out six.
The North Georgia offense was able to muster just three hits against ASU pitcher Jane Trzaska. Anthony's fourth inning RBI-single was the UNG's final hit of the day as Trzaska would keep the Nighthawks' bats silent for the final five innings.
- The Super Regional meeting is the second consecutive in Dahlonega for North Georgia and Armstrong. The Pirates rallied after dropping the first game last year to advance with a pair of second day wins.
- McSwain extended her team-high hitting streak to nine games.
- Smith tossed a season-high 161 pitches.
The two teams will meet at Noon on Friday, with an if-necessary game to follow at 2:30 p.m. if the Nighthawks pick up the win in game one.