DAHLONEGA — For the seventh consecutive year, the fourth-ranked University of North Georgia softball team can call itself Peach Belt Conference regular season champions as they took down Columbus State on Sunday.
The regular season crown was won after a 3-1 win in the first half of the twinbill before the Nighthawks walked off the nightcap with a grand slam.
GAME ONE: UNG 3, CSU 1
Columbus State struck first as Morgan Elston hit a solo homer to center field in the second, but the Nighthawks responded immediately, plating a pair on a Gracie Mixson RBI single and a RBI groundout to take the lead.
Neither team was able to scratch a run across until UNG broke through in the fourth on a Shelby Hammontree RBI single up the middle, putting the game at its final score.
Kylee Smith (14-3) was given the win, going all seven while fanning six.
GAME TWO: UNG 6, CSU 3
The Cougars again found the scoreboard first, this time putting up two in the first inning on an Elston sacrifice fly and a RBI single from Laura Harris. Hannah Rose Corbin extended the CSU lead to 3-0 in the second on a fielder's choice.
From there, it was all UNG as Marley Holmes got the Nighthawks their first hit of the game on an opposite field homer that trimmed the lead to 3-1 in the third. In the fifth inning, Kaylyn Anthony singled through the six hole to bring home another run.
The Nighthawks loaded the bases up in the seventh for Hammontree who nearly hit the scoreboard in right center with a walkoff grand slam, breaking the career home runs mark at UNG in the process.
Laken Chambers (11-0) got the win in relief, going 5.2 innings and allowing just one hit. She struck out three Cougars.
- UNG extends its record of consecutive Peach Belt titles to seven. They have won a total of 10 conference regular season titles, the most in conference history.
BASEBALL CLAIMS No. 2 SEED IN PBS TOURNAMENT
The No. 27 University of North Georgia baseball team finished off a four-game sweep of Salem Sunday afternoon with a 9-2 win. Additionally, North Georgia was announced as the No. 2 seed in next week's Peach Belt Tournament.
The Nighthawks got on the board first in the third inning, plating runs on a wild pitch and a Brady Eeles RBI single that sent the score to 3-0. Bill LeRoy kept things going in the fifth with a solo homer, followed by a RBI single in the sixth that gave UNG a 5-0 lead.
Nik Levensteins homered in the seventh inning and North Georgia scratched across another run later in the frame before the Tigers found their two runs on a homer to left in the top of the eighth. UNG got both runs back in the bottom of the inning off a wild pitch and a Jake Howard sacrifice fly to get to the final score.
- North Georgia hit 18 homers on the weekend.
- Beau Jones (2-0) was credited with the win, going 3.2 innings in relief, allowing just the two runs off two hits.
- LeRoy went 4-for-5 on the day with three runs scored and two RBI.
North Georgia will play host to third-seeded Young Harris next weekend at Bob Stein Stadium in the PBC semifinals. Check UNGAthletics.com later this week for game times as well as ticket information.