KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 21st-ranked Georgia softball team defeated No. 17 Tennessee Sunday afternoon in a nine-inning affair, 11-8. The Bulldogs salvage the game after dropping the first two of the series to the Lady Vols.
Georgia scattered nine hits, led by a two-hit performance by freshman Jayda Kearney. Kearney tied a season-best three RBI Sunday afternoon. Seven other Bulldogs picked up a hit apiece Sunday. Georgia blasted three home runs, one each from junior Lacey Fincher, freshman Ellie Armistead, and Kearney.
In the circle, Mary Wilson Avant pitched seven innings in her start, allowing six earned runs. She struck out three Volunteers. Freshman Britton Rogers (1-2) pitched two innings in relief and picked up the victory. She didn't allow any runs and only surrendered a hit with two strikeouts.
Tennessee's Ally Shipman drove in a go-ahead run with a double laced to right center in the bottom of the first, 1-0 Lady Vols.
Armistead knocked a two-run home run to right center field in the second to put the Bulldogs ahead 2-1. It was Armistead's fifth home run of her rookie season.
A single off the bat of Madison Webber plated two Lady Vols runs in the home half of the second to put Tennessee back in front, 3-2.
Georgia (29-14, 7-11) plated six runs in the top of the third to take a 8-3 lead on the Lady Vols. With bases loaded, an RBI single into right by Kearney kicked off the six-run rally for Georgia. Scoring came on a Fincher hit by pitch, a Sara Mosley infield single, a Sydney Chambley single to center, a fielding error by the third baseman, and a sac fly off the bat of Payden Bordeau.
Tennessee (35-8, 8-7) drove in three runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut into Georgia's lead, 8-6. The Lady Vols tied the game at 8-all in the sixth with a two-RBI double to right by Ashley Morgan.
Both teams went scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings to send the game to extra innings.
After a quick eighth inning, the Bulldog bats came alive once again in the ninth. Kearney blasted her second home run of the weekend, this one a two-run shot to left, to put Georgia back in the lead 10-8. Fincher followed with a solo shot to right field to bring the lead to 11-8.
Rogers retired the Lady Vols in order in the bottom of the ninth to pick up her first career victory in the circle.
The Bulldogs host the Alabama Crimson Tide in the final home series of the season next weekend. The three-game series begins Friday at 6 p.m.