Staff Reports

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The sixth-seeded USC Aiken softball team defeated nationally 13th ranked and third-seeded North Georgia 5-2 at the Peach Belt Conference Softball Tournament.

USCA (25-20-1) eliminated North Georgia (36-12) from the Peach Belt Conference Softball Tournament with the win.

The Pacers and Saints were locked in a scoreless tie until the fourth inning, when USCA struck for all five of its runs.

The inning started off with back-to-back singles by Lindsey Jones and Victoria Burkett. Jones advanced to third base on a throwing error. Cortney Sadler then drove in the first run for the Pacers, bunting to bring Jones home.

USCA’s Brittney Williamson and Hillary Stewart would reach base on fielder’s choices and Sarah Montei would walk to load the bases for Alyssa Cook.

Cook would hit her first home run of the season, a grand slam, to give the Pacers the eventual winning runs.

North Georgia would add two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but would get no closer. Sarah Johnson and Megan May reached base for the Saints. Johnson walked and May reached on an error. Both scored on a Kim McMillan single.

Cook was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish in the Pacer victory. Jones was 2-for-4 for the Pacers in their win.

USCA’s India Kornegay started the game for the Pacers, striking out 10 batters in five innings of work. Kornegay (14-12) only gave up two hits during her time in the circle.

Taylor Morgan came in to relieve Kornegay, surrendering just one hit over the final two innings. Morgan picked up her first save of the year in the game.

PBC Freshman of the Year Courtney Poole suffered the loss for North Georgia. Poole (22-7) surrendered all five runs for the Saints, which were unearned.

This is the second consecutive season the Pacers have advanced to the semifinals of the tournament.

Last year it was North Georgia that knocked the Paces out of the tournament in the semifinal

USCA will face the winner of second-seeded Georgia College and seventh-seeded Francis Marion in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

The Pacers loss twice to both teams during the regular season.