ATHENS, Ga. - The ninth-ranked Georgia Bulldog softball team recorded a pair of shutouts in just ten innings to start play at the 16th Annual Georgia Classic at Jack Turner Stadium Friday.
In its first game of the day, Georgia posted an 8-0 victory over Bryant, marking the fifth shutout of the season for the Bulldogs. Following a thirty-minute break, the Bulldogs defeated UMass, 8-0, adding an additional shutout to their resume.
"Well first off, hats off to our grounds crew" said associate head coach Tony Baldwin. "I think most people looked at the forecast and thought no way we'd get four games in today, but they had the field in great shape, and I'm just thankful that we got the opportunity to play. And then as far as today, I'm just really proud of the girl's competitiveness. Not our usual schedule. Today we had girls coming in from class and not getting into our normal warmups and routines, and at that point, we just have to get into a competitive mindset, and the girls did that and we were able to put somethings together."
At the plate, Georgia continued its offensive dominance, scoring 16 total runs on 17 hits. Juniors Justice Milz and Alysen Febrey drove in three and two runs, respectively, and recorded one home-run apiece. Freshman Savana Sikes contributed a two-run walk-off home-run in the win over UMass, the first Bulldog to hit a game-ending, run-rule walk-off home-run since Febrey did so against Gardner Webb (Feb. 23) last season.
Four different Bulldogs saw time in the circle Friday, including senior Kylie Bass, junior Mary Wilson Avant, redshirt junior Alley Cutting and sophomore Lauren Mathis. The Georgia pitching staff recorded a total 14 strikeouts and only allowed two hits on the day. Cutting contributed six strikeouts to set a new season-high.
#9 Georgia 8, Bryant 0 (5 inn.)
In its seventh run-rule game of the season, Georgia's five-run fifth inning capped by a walk-off sac fly from junior Mahlena O'Neal highlighted the win over Bryant.
Avant (3-1) started in the circle for Georgia and recorded four strikeouts with only one hit allowed in four innings. Coming in for relief, Mathis pitched one inning, tallying two strikeouts.
Febrey sparked the Georgia offense with a solo home-run down the left field line to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Following a quick 1-2-3 inning from Avant, Georgia had runners on second and third when a fielding error by the Bryant second baseman allowed both runners to score, extending Georgia's lead, 3-0, at the conclusion of the third.
Avant escaped the fourth inning without giving up any runs, despite Bryant loading the bases. The Bulldogs had an explosive fifth inning, sparked by a two run home-run over the right center wall from Milz. Lacey Fincher followed with a stand-up double and Alyssa DiCarlo scored on a fielding error. The walk-off sac-fly from O'Neal plated Febrey to clinch the 8-0 victory for Georgia.
#9 Georgia 8, UMass 0 (5 inn.)
Sikes highlighted Georgia's offensive performance in the 8-0 win over UMass, driving in three runs and scoring two herself. Milz added to her impressive offensive start, recording three hits, an RBI and a run.
Bass started the second game in the circle for the Bulldogs, recording two strikeouts in her sole inning pitched. Cutting (3-0) finished the game, pitching four total innings, allowing no hits.
Georgia jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on six hits in the first inning and RBI from five different Bulldogs, including DiCarlo, junior Ciara Bryan, Sikes, Milz and Febrey.
Georgia maintained its 6-0 lead going into the fifth when sophomore Tyler Armistead led off with a base-hit followed by a steal of second. Next up to bat, Sikes drove in the winning runs, clinching the victory for Georgia with her walk-off two-run home-run down the left field line.