Softball Falls In Tight Regional Final to #6 North Georgia


DAHLONEGA, Ga. -- North Georgia claimed the NCAA II Southeast Regional I Softball Tournament Championship, defeating Catawba 3-0 in a pitcher’s dual on Sunday afternoon at Hill Stadium.  The Nighthawks (47-7), seeded first and ranked sixth in NCAA II, advance to a best two-of-three series next weekend against the winner of the Southeast Regional II Tournament in Dahlonega.  The fourth-seeded Catawba Indians end their season at 31-17. 

With runs coming at a premium, the Nighthawks got the only one it needed on a sacrifice fly by Tiffanie Burns in the fifth.  Jessica Finch started the inning with a line drive just off the glove of Catawba third baseman Katherine Shumaker (Blanch, N.C./Bartlett Yancy HS), who nearly made a lunging back-handed grab.  Finch was able to leg the hit into a double.

Alexis Collins followed on a bunt single that sent pinch runner Hannah McSwain to third.  Collins stole second and after a pop up, Kim McMillan walked.  Burns would hit a 2-2 pitch to the warning track in left center that easily scored McSwain.  A bunt single, stolen base and a throwing error helped the Nighthawks add two runs in the seventh.

Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C./C. Davidson HS) worked around several infield hits for the Nighthawks as North Georgia left eight on base.  Catawba’s offense just could not scratch off UNG’s Courtney Poole, who registered her 40th win of the season with just three losses.

The Lady Indians managed just three base runners off Poole, who struck out eight.  Emily Huneycutt (Oakboro, N.C./W. Stanly HS) singled in the third, Caroline Turner (Kenly, N.C./N. Johnston HS) walked in the fourth and Taylor Adams (Smithfield, N.C./N. Johnston HS) singled in the seventh.

Tysinger (27-11) allowed the three runs, two of which were earned, off seven hits.  She walked one, hit one and fanned three.  The junior eclipsed her own season strikeout record in the loss as she finished the season with 325 punch outs.

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