The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
FAU First Pitch Classic - Boca Raton, Florida

Rally falls short for No. 7 Georgia

475 days ago
Georgia Athletics
Photo: Georgia Athletics

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Down three runs going into the bottom of seventh inning, the sixth-ranked Georgia softball team loaded the bases but fell short to the Indiana Hoosiers Sunday afternoon, 6-4.

Georgia finishes play at the FAU First Pitch Classic with a 4-1 record to open the 2019 campaign.

At the plate, Justice Milz and Jordan Doggett each picked up a pair of hits including a double Sunday. Mahlena O'Neal provided a late-inning solo home run, her first home run of the season, to spark the seventh inning.

"You have to hand it to Indiana. They played an excellent game. They played all three facets of the game the way it should be played," said head coach Lu Harris-Champer. "I thought Jordan had a fantastic day at the plate for us; really an all-around spark, stuck to the plan and got the job done. Justice also had a really good day at the plate, and we had some RBI scattered around for the entire team. When we stick to the plan, good things happen. I think we let too many good pitches go by today.

"Mahlena is as clutch as they come. I call her the glue to the team because she's all heart. When the game is on the line, she's in the battle for her teammates, she's not there for herself. I'm so proud of how clutch she is and how good she is behind the plate for us."

Mary Wilson Avant (1-1) pitched Georgia's first complete game of the weekend. The junior fanned seven hitters in the loss to Indiana (5-0).

The game remained scoreless heading into the bottom half of the third inning. The frame started with a leadoff double by Doggett followed by a shallow blooper to left by CJ Landrum, which she pulled up at second on. With two in scoring position, Savana Sike sflew out to deep center, allowing Doggett to tag and score. Milz immediately followed with a flyout to left for another sacrifice fly, putting Georgia ahead 2-0 after three innings of play.

Indiana responded in the top of the fourth with a trio of runs. The first two runs scored on bunt singles with the third scoring on a defensive miscue by the Bulldogs, putting the Hoosiers ahead 3-2.

IU's Maddie Westmoreland hit a two-out RBI single in the top of the fifth to add to the lead for the Hoosiers, 4-2.

Milz led off the bottom of the sixth with a double into left center. After a walk to Alyssa DiCarlo, both runners moved into scoring position on a groundout to second by Alysen Febrey. Lacey Fincherhit an RBI single into left, plating Milz and cutting the Hoosier lead to one, 4-3. The game looked to be tied on a would-be sacrifice fly by Ciara Bryan, but the inning was over as DiCarlo was said to have left early from third on the play, sending the contest into the seventh inning.

Grayson Radcliffe widened the Hoosier lead to three with a two-run home run off the scoreboard in the top of the seventh, 6-3.

Down three with three outs left, Mahlena O'Neal jumpstarted the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot to left center. Georgia quickly found itself with runners on the corners with two out and DiCarlo at the plate. A four-pitch walk to the Georgia shortstop loaded the bases. A grounder to the first baseman off the bat of Febrey ended the Georgia threat and the game, 6-4.

Georgia will open the home schedule next weekend when it hosts the Red & Black Showcase beginning Friday at Jack Turner Stadium.