SALEM, VA – With an 8-1 victory over North Georgia in the “if necessary” game, Lock Haven University (50-6) will play in its third championship game in a four-year span. North Georgia concludes its season with a 50-5 record.
North Georgia threatened in the top of the first inning as third baseman Laura Voyles led off the game with a single, was sacrificed to second and went to third on an error, but neither of the Saints baserunners were able to advance. In the bottom of the frame, Lock Haven struck early and often yet again. Sarah Norris led off the inning with a single to left, was sacrificed to second by Kristin Erb and went to third on a fielders choice by Ilia Lopez. No out was recorded on the play, and the Saints third baseman, Voyles, was injured on the play and had to leave the game.
With runners on the corners, Amanda Roosa connected on a single, scoring Norris. After an Erica Eisenbise single loaded the bases, a two-out single by designated player Brittany Muthard scored Lopez and Roosa, and Eisenbise would come home on a bases-loaded single from left fielder Julia Popovich to make the score 4-0.
It was more of the same in the second inning, despite North Georgia’s decision to replace starter Sarah Phillips with Trisha Snider in the circle. Erb led off the inning with a single to left before being replaced by pinch runner Kirsten Labant. Labant was sacrificed to second by Lopez and scored on an error off the bat of Roosa. An Eisenbise single would plate Roosa, giving The Haven a 6-0 lead.
North Georgia got on the board in the top half of the fifth inning as catcher Hilary Cox crushed a leadoff home run to left field, snapping a streak of nine straight batters retired by Erb.
Lock Haven’s DP Brittany Muthard answered with a home run of her own in the bottom of the fifth inning, clearing the left field fence. Amanda Roosa completed the scoring with a solo home run of her own in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Erb improves to 49-5 on the season, having struck out nine and allowed just two hits over her seven innings in the circle.
North Georgia starting pitcher Sarah Phillips took the loss, despite throwing just one inning. She allowed four runs on five hits, striking out one. Trisha Snider came in to relieve Phillips, tossing five innings, strikingout two and allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits.