Francis Marion University will face top-seeded and eighth-ranked University of North Georgia on Friday (April 21) at 6:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Peach Belt Conference Softball Tournament.
The single-elimination tournament will be hosted by Georgia College at the school's Peeler Complex in Milledgeville, Ga. Four quarterfinal games will be played on Friday with the semifinals set for Saturday at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and the championship game scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m.
Daily general admission tickets will be $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children under 12. Also available will be an all-tournament pass for $15 ($10 for senior citizens and children under 12), and students of all PBC institutions will be admitted free with a valid ID from PBC schools.
The Patriots posted a 27-21 regular-season mark and tied for eighth in the final PBC standings (with Lander University) with a 9-15 record. FMU was awarded the eighth seed by virtue of a doubleheader sweep of the Bearcats on March 4.
North Georgia owns a 41-10 overall record, finished conference play with a 20-4 mark, and has won its last six games. The Nighthawks won the 2015 NCAA Division II national championships and is the three-time defending PBC Tournament champion.
In Friday's three other quarterfinal contests, second-seeded Armstrong State University (29-10) will play seventh-seeded University of Montevallo (23-22) at 11 a.m., third-seeded Flagler College (35-18) will meet sixth-seeded Columbus State University (27-25-1) at 1:30 p.m., and fourth-seeded Young Harris College (41-11) will play fifth-seeded Georgia College (30-18) at 4 p.m.
FMU is 29-37 all-time in the conference tournament and reached the title game in 2010. The tournament winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
Senior outfielder Briana Barzola leads FMU in batting with a .392 average and shares the team lead in runs scored with 39. Sophomore shortstop Taylor Johnson is hitting .346 with four homers, 26 runs batted in, and a team-high 15 doubles, while junior third baseman Sam Chiudina is hitting .339 with nine doubles and team-high totals of 10 homers and 46 RBIs.
The Patriot pitching staff consists of freshmen right-handers Sydney Holland (13-12 record, 2.30 earned run average) and Cristi Pressley (4-3, 3.09) and junior righty Samantha Wroblewski (10-6, 2.99).
North Georgia swept a twinbill from the Patriots on March 19 in Florence, winning 8-5 in nine innings and 7-4.
Saturday, April 22 10:00 am – Game 5 Semifinals Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 Winner 12:30 pm – Game 6 Semifinals Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 Winner 3:00 pm – Game 7 Championship Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 Winner