SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Armstrong State University softball team slugged seven home runs in defeating No. 8-ranked Pfeiffer University, 7-0 and 10-0, on Sunday to advance to the NCAA Division II Southeast Super Regional for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
The third-seeded Pirates (34-12) advance to meet top-seeded and host North Georgia (48-11) beginning Thursday, March 18th, at a time to be determined in Dahlonega. Pfeiffer sees its season come to a close in the Southeast Region final for a second time and ends the year with a 46-8 record.
The Pirates entered the day needing to knock off the Falcons to force the if-necessary game, and got off to a good start in the first game with three runs in the third inning on Katie Collins' sacrifice fly, Logan Harrell's RBI single and an RBI fielder's choice from Jane Trzaska.
The rest of the runs plated by the Pirates in the game came on the longball as Macy Coleman drilled a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, and Tazha Williams followed two batters later with a two-run blast to make the score 6-0.
Harrell then capped the scoring with a solo home run in the fifth.
Tori Bates (5-1) picked up the win in the circle for the Pirates with five innings of four-hit shutout ball, walking one while striking out five. Pfeiffer's Kiana Millsaps (8-5) took the loss, giving up three hits and three runs - one earned - in two-plus innings, striking out one.
The win then forced a winner-take-all second game and again the Pirates relied on the big knock to get out to an early lead. Collins had a first-inning solo shot for an early 1-0 lead, then Coleman followed with a solo blast in the second inning.
Hannah Reppert followed with a solo home run in the fourth - the 57th of her career - while Collins had an RBI single to make the score 4-0.
Connor Weaver's RBI single in the fifth made the score 6-0, then the Pirates put the game away in the sixth on an RBI single from Trzaska and Coleman's walk-off grand slam home run for the final 10-0 margin.
As a team, the Pirates hit 12 home runs in its four regional elimination games beginning with Friday's win over Carson-Newman. Armstrong State had one from Reppert in that contest, then had four in Friday afternoon's win over Young Harris, added to today's seven.
Trzaska (16-7) notched the win in the circle for the Pirates with six innings of two-hit shutout ball, striking out three. Pfeiffer's Caitlin Christian (14-3) took the loss in the final game, giving up four hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Coleman went 5-for-8 with three home runs and six RBI in the pair of games to lead the barrage for the Pirates. Emma Tuttle had two hits for the Falcons in game one, while Vada Blue Sherrill had two hits in game two.