Tirae Stevens, Staff Writer
The Armstrong State softball team won three out of four games against Peach Belt Conference (PBC) foes Young Harris College and the University of North Georgia to open league play.
On Saturday, March 4, the Pirates travelled to face the Young Harris Mountain Lions in a doubleheader, who were undefeated at the time. The Pirates fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of the first game, but a strong performance in the fifth inning thanks to efforts by sophomore Logan Harrell, sophomore Connor Weaver, and senior Jane Trzaska allowed Armstrong to score four runs and take the 4-2 lead. Young Harris scored two more runs in the sixth inning, but an RBI double from Weaver and a two-run single from freshman Tazha Williams helped the Pirates secure the 7-4 victory. In the second game, junior Autumn Parrish fired off a home run in the first inning. Another strong fifth inning- including solo home runs by Harrell and Parrish- allowed the Pirates to cruise to the 6-0 win.
The next day, Armstrong State travelled to Dahlonega, Georgia, to play unofficial rival and number four-ranked North Georgia Nighthawks in another doubleheader. Armstrong State was the first on the board during the first game thanks to a solo home run by Harrell in the third inning. North Georgia tied the game up in the fourth inning as Nighthawk Jessica Finch was hit by a pitch while the bases were loaded. Neither team was able to score again by the end of regulation, forcing the game to go to extra innings. With two outs in the eighth inning, Parrish continued her home run magic by launching a two-run shot to left field- reminiscent of what she did the previous season in Super Regionals against the same North Georgia Nighthawks to get the Pirates to nationals. Solid pitching from Trzaska prevented North Georgia from scoring any more runs and secured the 3-1 win for Armstrong. In the second game, North Georgia was the first on the board by scoring a run in the first inning. Tazha Williams scored her third home run of the season to give the Pirates the 2-1 lead, but North Georgia hit three home runs and scored six unanswered runs total to take the 7-2 win.
After the events of the weekend, the Pirates moved to 13-6 overall and 3-1 in Peach Belt Conference play. “I feel like we really played well as a team, and got some great team wins in,” sophomore Morgan Duff added. “It’s a great start to our conference slate.”
Armstrong State softball returns to action on Saturday, March 11 when they travel to Greenwood, South Carolina to face off against the Lander Bearcats in a PBC doubleheader.