ATHENS, Ga. - The ninth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs softball team recorded its 13th shutout win of the season, defeating Western Illinois 9-0 in five innings on Monday evening at Jack Turner Stadium.
Georgia's offensive performance highlighted the final game of the UGA Classic. Freshman Savana Sikes notched a season-high six RBI, four of which came from her first-career grand slam. Junior Jordan Doggett, sophomores Tyler Armistead and Jessica Morgan, and freshman Lacey Fincher each chipped in an RBI to total nine runs on 10 hits for the Bulldogs.
Junior Mary Wilson Avant (5-1) started in the circle for the Bulldogs, pitching four innings and recording six strikeouts. Junior Amanda Ablan came in for one inning of relief, securing the shutout for the Bulldogs (24-3) while tallying two strikeouts.
"I thought Mary really had great stuff," said Associate Head Coach Tony Baldwin. "That is three outings in a row now over the course of the weekend and it is a good time for her to get into her stride. I thought she was really mixing pitches and hitting her spots well and making the hitters uncomfortable. Super proud of Amanda coming in and throwing great in the last inning as well."
After a quick three-up, three-down inning from Avant, the Georgia offense got off to an explosive start, leading by five, 5-0, at the end of the first inning after batting around in the frame. Freshman CJ Landrum led off for the Bulldogs with a single and then scored on a double from Doggett. With two down and the bases juiced, Sikes smoked a grand slam over the center field wall to give the Bulldogs a five-point advantage. It was the first grand slam of the freshman's career.
The scoring continued for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the second with two more RBI from Sikes. An RBI single from Morgan tacked on another run, sending Georgia into the third leading 8-0.
The score remained unchanged, 8-0, until the bottom of the fourth where an RBI single from Armistead gave Georgia's its ninth and final run of the night. A three-up, three-down inning from Ablan ended the game in five innings with a 9-0 victory.
Georgia returns to action Wednesday, Mar. 13, at 6 p.m. against North Carolina at Jack Turner Stadium.