The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Bulldogs leave everything on the field for 28 games

89 days ago
Georgia Athletics

Despite being cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia softball strung together a strong season in only 28 games in 2020. The Bulldogs concluded the shortened season with a 23-5 record and won their lone SEC series against South Carolina.

Georgia began the season with eight-straight wins including the first seven coming by way of run rule. In all, the Bulldogs won via run rule in 17 of their 23 victories. In 28 games, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 214-65.

The Bulldogs trekked to Clearwater, Florida for the Second Annual St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational in week two of the season. The Bulldogs took on top competition including three top-25 teams. The Bulldogs defeated Kansas and #21 Northwestern in day one action but fell in its final three games including to third-ranked UCLA.

Georgia rebounded after its trip to Florida with seven-straight wins at Jack Turner Stadium, highlighted by back-to-back run-rule victories over #21 James Madison. In the first game, the Bulldogs scored 10 runs in the fifth inning to knock off the Dukes 19-11. The bats stayed hot in the second matchup, run ruling JMU again, 13-5.

In all, Georgia won its first 17 games at Jack Turner Stadium, taking its perfect home record into Southeastern Conference play. South Carolina edged the Bulldogs in the opener, but a nine-inning thriller went the Bulldogs' way to knot the series. Georgia's bat came alive in the finale, run-ruling the Gamecocks 11-3 to win the series. In the would-be final game of the season, Georgia hit five home runs to rout Furman 12-1 in a midweek contest.

Georgia's seven-member senior class saw exceptional seasons prior to being cut short. Outfielder Ciara Bryan led the squad with 11 home runs, 31 RBI, 33 hits, 39 runs, 74 total bases, an .860 slugging percentage, and 15 stolen bases. Fellow senior Jordan Doggett, who hit .360, was also having a great senior campaign at the plate. Doggett saw her batting average rise year-after-year at Georgia, hitting. 316 a season ago.

Senior pitcher Mary Wilson Avant concluded the season with a 1.39 ERA and an 11-4 record in 16 appearances and 75.1 innings pitched. She fanned 120 hitters and held opponents to a .148 hitting clip. Alley Cutting, another senior in the circle, recorded an ERA of 1.88 and a 5-1 record in 37 innings. Junior Lauren Mathis contributed a 7-0 record and 82 strikeouts in 46 innings in the circle.

Sophomore first baseman Lacey Fincher picked up where she left off her rookie season, hitting .417 with a .750 slugging percentage with six home runs, four doubles, and a triple. She also tallied 17 walks to co-lead the team. She ended the season hitting .538 with three home runs and a team-best eight RBI in the final five games.

A pair of freshmen on the left side of the infield had impact shortened seasons. Together, shortstop Sydney Kuma and third baseman Sara Mosley were responsible for a large chunk of the Bulldogs' offense in 2020. The two combined for 51 runs scored, 61 hits, 17 doubles, seven home runs, and 55 RBI. Kuma's .438 hitting clip and .549 on base percentage led the team while co-leading with Fincher for 17 walks. Mosley knocked a team-best nine doubles while co-leading the squad with 31 RBI. She also hit five home runs for a .726 slugging percentage.

As a team, the Bulldogs had a strong showing in the SEC and NCAA statistical rankings for both the offense and the pitching. The Bulldogs were top-10 in the country in scoring (7.64 runs/game), walks (104), shutouts (9), and slugging (.591). Georgia ranked top three in the SEC in all those categories including batting average (.335), doubles (15), and home runs per game (1.29). The pitching staff's 1.92 ERA ranked fourth in the conference and 24th in the nation.