ATHENS, Ga. - Offense powered No. 14 Georgia softball past Radford, 12-2, prior to the Bulldogs throwing a collective no-hitter in a 7-0 win over Jacksonville State on opening day of the Ninth Annual Bulldog Classic Friday at Jack Turner Stadium.
Georgia improved to 15-1 overall on their 13th- and 14th-straight victories, while Radford dropped to 10-5 and Jacksonville State moved to 6-10.
Leaders with the bat consisted of Cortni Emanuel (5-5, 4 R, 3 SB, RBI, BB), Ciara Bryan (3-7, 3 RBI, 2 R), Alyssa DiCarlo (2-6, 3 RBI, 2 R), and Alysen Febrey (2-6, 3 RBI, BB, R). In the circle, starter Brittany Gray (6-0) struck out seven in game one, while Amanda Ablan and Kylie Bass (6-0) combined for the no-hitter in game two.
"I was really proud of the pitching staff as a whole, to have a no hitter in the second game and then also having five players with three RBIs is pretty incredible," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer. "The lineup today was outstanding and Cortni (Emanuel) is always excellent. These wins are really big for us. We keep seeing big things, I can't stop emphasizing Jordan Doggets defense on third. We're really adapting and improving each game."
Georgia began game one by striking out the side and putting up one run via small ball. Emanuel had the first of her three singles of the game and promptly stole second, setting up a DiCarlo RBI single two batters later.
The Bulldogs exploded for 11 runs in the third that seemingly put the game well out of reach. Identical to the first inning, Emanuel singled and swiped second base. Three straight run-scoring singles followed, forcing the Highlanders to make a move to the bullpen with the bases loaded.
After the change, sophomore Kaylie Harding drew a walk to put another run across, and then another set of three run-scoring singles proceeded. In the second go-around in the lineup, DiCarlo doubled off the wall to plate Emanuel whose single this time scored a run. To cap the offensive attack, Febrey smacked a two-run double for the 12-0 Georgia lead.
In three scoreless innings, Gray (6-0) yielded only one hit and one walk. The senior right-hander struck out the first four hitters of the game. Radford pushed across two runs in the fifth inning, snapping Georgia's scoreless inning streak at 43 innings.
The latter game against Jacksonville State started correspondingly like the first with Emanuel reaching base and stealing second base - her third swipe of the day. Five-hole hitter, Jessica Morgan, scored Emanuel on a double to left field, which also put two runners in scoring position. Bryan cleaned the bases with a two-run single to give Georgia the early 3-0 lead.
In the middle of the second inning, the Harding twins were surprised by their brother Adam who had just returned home from a two-year tour of Iraq in the Army. The three reunited at home plate during the inning break.
The Bulldogs added one run in the second on a fielder's choice and then three runs in the third on Jordan Doggett's two-run single and a bases-loaded walk by Karlie Harding.
After Ablan exited midway through the third inning, Bass tossed the final 4.2 innings, striking out five and maintaining the no-hit bid until the conclusion. The two Bulldogs only allowed five Gamecock base runners due to walks.
The Bulldog Classic continues with four Saturday games in which Georgia plays two - a matchup against UNCG at 1 p.m. followed immediately by a game versus Jacksonville State.
Senior Left Fielder #1 Cortni Emanuel
"We really went into this game with a mindset of executing, get the first runner on and maintaining runners on base. We have been working really hard to find ways to execute in everything we are doing. These wins are big for us but we do take one game at a time and work on what we need to work on in order to be prepared for our next games."