|DAHLONEGA – Kylee Smith
threw 6.2 innings of one-hit softball as the top-ranked University of North Georgia softball team advanced in the NCAA Southeast Regional with a 5-2 win over eighth-seeded King at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.
Shelby Hammontree jump started the offense in the second inning with a two-run blast to left field before Marley Stowersdoubled the lead with a bases clearing double with two outs to give the Nighthawks a 2-0 lead.
With two outs in the fifth, North Georgia struck again with a pinch-hit RBI single to left that plated Kaylyn Anthony all the way from first after a Tornado error to give UNG a 5-0 lead.
King did get on the scoreboard in the seventh with a two-run homer from Katelyn Davidson, but Smith came back in the game and sat down the remaining King batters to preserve the win.
– Smith (31-2) struck out seven batters and hit one without allowing a walk or more than a hit in the fifth inning, a double by Erin Roper.
– Stowers finished 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBI, and Anthony was 3-for-3 with two runs scored to lead North Georgia at the plate.
– North Georgia improves to 5-0 all-time against the Tornado, 2-0 in NCAA tournament play.
The Nighthawks will take on the winner of No. 4 Coker and No. 5 Queens tomorrow at noon, while King will play the loser of the Cobras/Royals contest at 2:30 p.m. in an elimination game.