ATHENS, Ga. - The eighth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs softball team recorded back-to-back wins over Virginia Tech and UAB on the second day of the Bulldog Classic at Jack Turner Stadium.
Redshirt-junior Alley Cutting (5-0) recorded her second complete game as a Bulldog in the win over Virginia Tech where she tallied two strikeouts, allowed no runs and only one hit. Sophomore Lauren Mathis and senior Kylie Bass also saw time in the circle against UAB. Mathis was granted the start but Bass (4-0) is credited the 5-1 win. As a whole, the Georgia pitching staff only surrendered one run on four hits and added another shutout to the Georgia (17-2) resume.
"I thought they really had a good mindset," said Georgia Associate Head Coach Tony Baldwin. "They competed after we had a really good pregame. They came with an attitude to really go today. I thought there was some carryover from the fight we had last night. I'm really proud of the answer back. I can't say enough about Alley Cutting and the start she gave."
Highlighting the two wins offensively were juniors Mahlena O'Neal and Jordan Doggett. O'Neal went three-for-four at the plate with six RBI, three runs, and a grand slam. Doggett added an additional three RBI on a triple against Virginia Tech. O'Neal's walk-off grand slam was the second five inning walk-off of the season for Georgia, the other coming from freshman Savana Sikes against UMass on Feb. 22, and was the first grand-slam since the 2017 against #17 Kentucky. On the day, Georgia scored a total of 13 runs on 13 hits.
Senior Alyssa DiCarlo tied a program record when she drew her fourth walk against UAB. The last Bulldog to accomplish this feat was Geri Ann Glasco against LSU in the 2014 season.
No. 8 Georgia 8, Virginia Tech 0 (5 inn.)
Scoring eight runs on eight hits, Georgia's bats highlighted the rematch win against Virginia Tech and the Bulldogs' ninth shutout victory of the season.
Before the Hokies managed to reached base, a stand-up double from O'Neal and a sac fly from Doggett gave Georgia an early 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the second.
After retiring eight-straight batters to start the game, Cutting allowed Virginia Tech to load the bases in the bottom of the third but escaped the inning unscathed.
The score remained 1-0 until Doggett, with two on and two out, recorded only her second career triple to tack on two more runs and extend Georgia's lead, 3-0, heading into the fifth.
Cutting continued her dominance in the circle leading Georgia to another three-up, three-down inning in the top half of the fifth. Junior Ciara Bryan knocked her first home run of the season to get things going for the Georgia offense in the bottom of the inning. Up next, DiCarlo singled and then advanced to third on a single from freshman Lacey Fincher. A walk for junior Alysen Febrey loaded the bases with no outs. For the first time since 2017, O'Neal blasted a walk-off grand-slam to seal the rematch victory, 8-0, in five innings.
No. 8 Georgia 5, UAB 1
An early error by UAB, two walks and a two RBI single from O'Neal allowed Georgia to grab an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after a three-up, three-down inning defensively to get things started.
UAB answered in the top of a second with a solo home run to lead off the frame and that would stand as the only run allowed by Georgia on the day.
The score remained 2-1 through four innings of play. The Bulldogs displayed another explosive fifth inning, tallying three runs on two outs. Contributing to the impressive fifth inning offensive performance was Sikes, who smoked one to left field for an RBI single and plated Fincher. Sophomore Tyler Armistead followed with an RBI single of her own to score O'Neal. On the same play, Sikes scored on an error, increasing Georgia's lead to four, 5-1.
Mathis pitched two and one thirds inning, finishing with one strikeout and allowed one run on one hit. Bass pitched the final four and one third innings, tallying two strikeouts, allowed only two hits and no runs.
Georgia will rematch UAB Sunday, Mar. 3 at 11:30 a.m. in its final game of the Bulldog Classic at Jack Turner Stadium.