April 18, 2014 FLORENCE, S.C. – Seeded eighth in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, the GRU Augusta Jaguars (22-34) allowed two runs to the top-seeded Nighthawks (42-9)in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to fall 4-0 in the shutout victory Friday afternoon at the Francis Marion Softball Field in the opening quarterfinal game of the 2014 tournament.
Sophomore All-Conference pitcher Paige Deschaine made her 28th start of the year to only allow three hits with seven strikeouts, but she walked three for two of them to score. GRU Augusta had a chance to take the early lead in the top of the fourth, but got stopped close to home. Erin Rozier, who reached on a fielder's choice, was thrown out at home plate to end the inning as she tried to score on Hannah Vaughn's soft single to center field.
The Nighthawks, ranked No. 4 in the latest NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, took a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the inning. Jessica Finch led off with a double just inside the left-field line off Deschaine (12-16) and Ansley Phillips reached a four-pitch walk. Rochelle Shuman, who pinch ran for Finch, scored the first run on back-to-back wild pitches. Brooke Herkel, who pinch ran for Phillips, later scored on Victoria Prince's ground out. In the fifth, Deschaine gave up a two-run blast for UNG to take the 4-0 final.
North Georgia pitcher Courtney Poole (20-8) helped herself at the plate by drawing a walk to lead off the fifth. Tiffanie Burns followed by sending the first pitch she saw over the right-field fence for a two-run homer – her seventh of 2014 – to give the Nighthawks a 4-0 lead.
GRU’s Molly Walton, Erin Rozier, Hannah Vaughn, and Brianna Dickens each had one hit in the contest, while Tiffanie Burns went 1-for-2 for UNG with two RBI and a run scored.