BOCA RATON, Fla. - The #7 Georgia Bulldog softball team scored a combined 27 runs in wins over Bethune-Cookman and Virginia on Saturday at the FAU First Pitch Classic.
After a 50-minute rain delay before first pitch was thrown, Georgia (4-0) shutout Bethune-Cookman (1-2) in five innings to start the day. The Bulldogs immediately turned around to play Virginia (0-3), having to come from behind, and earn a 15-7 win over the Cavaliers.
"I'm really proud of our fight today," head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "We got a chance to come out and play great teams and just figure it out. I love that we got to come from behind today. Not that I like to be behind, but I love that we scrapped and fought and found a way to figure it."
The Bulldog offense was on display as Georgia hit six total home runs on the day with an additional seven extra-base hits including four triples.
"I thought our offense was on point, they did a lot of really good things. [Alyssa] DiCarlo is just DiCarlo. I thought she did a really great job looking for her pitch, finding it, and doing really good things with it. Alysen [Febrey] was really clutch today with really big hits. And I thought Mahlena [O'Neal] had at least one really clutch hit, which was fantastic. Pitching was really good. I can't say enough about [Kylie] Bass and Madison [McPherson]; spinning the ball was really beautiful."
#7 Georgia 12, Bethune-Cookman 0 (5 innings)
The offense come on strong early in the first game of the day as Georgia hit eight extra-base hits including five home runs, two each by Alyssa DiCarlo and Alysen Febrey. DiCarlo finished the game with three hits and five runs driven in.
In her first career start in the circle, redshirt-sophomore Madison McPherson (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out one. Sophomore Lauren Mathis worked the final two innings in relief to complete the shutout.
Georgia jumped out in front with a six-run second inning. Febreyled off the frame with her first home run of the season, putting the Bulldogs ahead 1-0. Two batters later, junior Jordan Doggetthit her second career home run, a two-run shot, off the scoreboard in right to widen the lead to 3-0. The third home run of the inning was a three-run home run to centerfield by DiCarlo, her third in as many games, to extend the lead to 6-0 after one and a half innings of play.
A pair of two-run home runs by DiCarlo and Febrey, each their second of the game, tacked onto the lead for the Bulldogs in the top of the fourth, 10-0. Pinch runner Tyler Armisteadlater scored on a two-out passed ball to wrap up a five-run inning for Georgia, 11-0.
With two on and two out in the top of the fifth, Armistead got a base hit to drop in shallow centerfield to plate DiCarlo, recording her first career RBI and bringing the final lead to 12-0.
#7 Georgia 15, Virginia 7
DiCarlo added three hits with another RBI in game two of the day. Three Bulldogs including Sikes, Febrey, and O'Neal all had three RBI against Virginia.
In the circle, Kylie Bass (1-0) earned the win in five and a third innings in relief.
Georgia pushed two runs across the plate in the top of the first inning without recording a hit. With one out, Savana Sikeswas hit by a pitch for the third time on the day, followed by a walk to DiCarlo. Both moved up on a groundout by Justice Milz. Sikes scored and Febrey was safe at first on a fielding error by the first baseman. A walk to Lacey Fincherloaded the bases for Mahlena O'Nealwho was hit by a pitch to force in Georgia's second run and take a 2-0 lead.
Virginia wasted no time responding in the bottom of the inning, plating three runs to capture a 3-2 lead on the Bulldogs. The game was tied by a two-run double by Lacy Smith then a two-out RBI double by Donna Friedman.
A sacrifice fly by Erika Osherow in the second made it a two-run game in favor of Virginia, 4-2.
The Bulldogs plated five runs in the top of the fourth to recapture a lead on the Cavaliers. With bases loaded and two out, Febrey hit a bases-clearing triple into the right-center gap to go ahead, 5-4. After a walk to Fincher, O'Neal doubled to right center to drive in both runs and widen the lead to three, 7-4.
A double, followed by an RBI triple plated a run for Virginia in the bottom of the inning, narrowing the lead to 7-5.
Ciara Bryandrew a one-out walk in the top of the fifth and took third on a pair of wild pitches. She tagged and scored on a shallow sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Sikes, putting Georgia ahead by three once again, 8-5.
The Georgia lead was extended to seven with a four-run sixth inning. With two on and two out, Bryan singled up the middle to drive in Fincher. Sikes plated two more runs with a bloop single that fell in shallow left center. Sikes scored from first on a DiCarlo double that rolled to the wall, widening the lead to 12-7.
Georgia added three runs in the top of the seventh. Fincher hit her first career home run, a solo shot down the left field line, to start the late-inning scoring. With pinch runner Armistead on first, CJ Landrumtripled down the right field line then scored on a bad throw on the cut by the first baseman, bringing the lead to 10, 15-5.
Virginia scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the Bulldog lead was too great for the Cavaliers to overcome late in the game. McPherson entered in the seventh and closed the game for Georgia.
Georgia will bring play at the FAU First Pitch Classic to a close Sunday morning against the Indiana Hoosiers at 11:15 a.m. from Boca Raton.