The University of North Georgia's (UNG) softball team won the NCAA Division II softball championship in Oklahoma City on Monday, May 25, to claim the school's first-ever national championship. The Nighthawks returned to Georgia on Tuesday evening, and not even the late hour and dense fog were enough to keep nearly 100 fans from welcoming them back to UNG with cheers and applause.
"This championship title belongs to all of us," Head Coach Mike Davenport told the crowd at nearly 1 a.m. during a celebration at UNG's Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. "It belongs to the players, the alumni, the university and the community, and everyone who has supported us. We brought back the gold for you. I am so proud of this team."
Just like the majority of the games that earned UNG’s softball team a berth in the championship tournament in Oklahoma City, the Nighthawks used timely hitting with an excellent performance by NFCA National Pitcher of the Year Courtney Poole to defeat Dixie State 5-0 in the championship game.
"It's amazing. It's indescribable to go out like this," UNG senior shortstop Tiffanie Burns said. "You never want it to end. To go out with a national championship is just unbelievable. The girls that I've got to play with were a blessing and I appreciate every single one of them."
Senior outfielder Taylor Anne Merritt thanked the fans on behalf of the team.
"We want you to know how much we appreciate you coming out tonight and your support over the season. Know that while we were in Oklahoma City, you were always on our minds and we were playing our hardest for you," Merritt said.
For complete coverage of the Nighthawks’ championship season, including a photo gallery, videos and post-game press conference from Oklahoma City, read the full story on the UNG Athletics website at http://ungathletics.com/news/2015/5/25/SB_0525154002.aspx.