ATHENS, Ga. - Behind 14 scoreless innings from three Georgia pitchers, the 14th-ranked Bulldogs cruised to a pair of victories against College of Charleston and ETSU in the 15th Annual Georgia Classic at Jack Turner Stadium on Saturday.
Junior Kylie Bass, sophomore Mary Wilson Avant and senior Brittany Gray gave up only two infield hits and three baserunners on the day. In the 6-0 College of Charleston topping, Bass (5-0) allowed only two baserunners, and Avant sealed the win with three scoreless innings. Georgia's 7-0 win against ETSU featured senior Brittany Gray (6-0), who supplied a career-high 14 strikeouts, besting her career-outing the week before against Evansville.
On the offensive side, senior Cortni Emanuel matched the Bulldogs' all-time stolen bases record in a single game with a career-high four stolen bases against College of Charleston. The left fielder coupled her seven total stolen bases with command at the plate, totaling four hits and three runs scored on the day.
Alongside Emanuel's team-leading clip was sophomore Alysen Febrey, who also hit .667 in the two games (4-for-6) with a pair of hits in each. The first baseman led the Bulldogs on the weekend with eight hits (8-for-13), including 4 RBI, a homerun and a double.
"I was really proud of the entire team," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "I thought Brittany had an incredible day. For the weekend, I'm so proud of the pitching and the defense as a whole. We gave up three hits on the weekend, and it's just an outstanding job that Coach (Rachele) Fico is doing with our pitchers. They're really working well together as a staff."
Against College of Charleston (7-5), Georgia scored its first run before the first out was recorded in the bottom of the opening frame. Emanuel reached on a bunt-single, stole her first base of the afternoon and advanced to third on a base hit from sophomore Justice Milz. In an attempt to catch a stealing Milz during the next at-bat, Emanuel scored on an off-kilter throw to second from the Cougars catcher Taylor Belfiore.
After senior Alyssa DiCarlo walked to lead off the third inning, sophomores Alysen Febrey and Ciara Bryan loaded the bases with back-to-back base-hit bunts. With one out, sophomore Mahlena O'Neal took the first pitch to right-center field, picking up 2 RBI to score Febrey and Bryan. Then, with pinch runner Tiffani Railey on first and senior Kendall Burton on third, Georgia picked up the 3-0 lead with a double steal.
The Bulldogs sealed the margin at six with a run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings, fueled by leadoff hits from Emanuel and freshman catcher Jessica Morgan.
In the fourth frame of the nightcap, Morgan threw out the only runner who has attempted a steal on her this season from behind the plate, connecting with DiCarlo at second for the out. In the bottom of the inning, Morgan powered a two-run line-drive homerun over the right field fence, handing Georgia the 2-0 advantage.
The next inning, the Bulldogs used small-ball to tack on two more runs, highlighted by a pair of base-hit bunts. To open the sixth inning, Burton extended her on-base streak to 14 games with a single up the middle, followed by a pair of RBI singles from sophomores Kaylie Harding and Jordan Doggett to provide Georgia the 7-0 margin.
Later in the inning, with Emanuel on second and Doggett on third, the pair finessed the defense into two separate rundowns between the bases, allowing Doggett to score for the seventh and final Georgia run.
With the Bulldogs' 12th straight win, Georgia improves to 13-1 and breaks into the program's top-10 all-time winning streak list.
Up next, the Bulldogs embark on a mid-week trip to face off with Winthrop on Wednesday, Feb. 28. From March 2-4, Georgia hosts the Bulldog Classic, welcoming Radford, Jacksonville State and UNCG to Jack Turner Stadium.