Georgia's homers, Walters' no-hitter take down MS State
ATHENS, Ga. - Graduate pitcher Shelby Walters pitched a five-inning no-hitter against Mississippi State Saturday afternoon at Jack Turner Stadium. Georgia clinched the SEC series with a 10-0 run rule.
The Bulldogs climb to 27-6 on the season and 7-1 in SEC play. Georgia has won seven-straight SEC games, its longest conference win streak since 2010 (11-straight). Overall, Georgia's nine-game win streak is a season-best.
Walters worked the complete five innings, striking out two Mississippi State (22-10, 3-2) batters and allowing a pair of walks. The no-hitter is the second of the season for Walters (last vs. Samford on March 4). The no-no is Georgia's first against an SEC opponent since May 3, 2009 when Sarah McCloud and Christie Hamilton combined for the no-hitter at Arkansas.
Georgia's offense was also on display Saturday as the Bulldogs tied a season-best five home runs. Jayda Kearney was responsible for two home runs and four RBI. Sara Mosley, Sydney Kuma, and Jaydyn Goodwin all left the yard on the afternoon.
A pair of two-run home runs off the bats of Kearney and Kuma put Georgia ahead 4-0 in the first inning.
The home runs kept coming in the second inning. Goodwin led off the frame with a shot to center, her third of the season. Mosley's 12th home run of the season, a two-run blast to right center, widened the Georgia lead to 7-0.
With two out in the third, Goodwin stole second and took third on an errant throw down to second by the catcher. She immediately scored on a single to center from Ellie Armistead to lengthen the lead to 8-0.
Georgia's fifth home run of the game and the second off the bat of Kearney, was a two-run shot to left, bringing the score to 10-0.
Walters recorded a 1-2-3 fifth inning to secure the no-hitter and the win for the Dogs.
Head coach Tony Baldwin
On Shelby Walter's performance...
"Outstanding! I think that pretty much sums it up. She was in command. She was getting the ball to both sides of the plate. When she's doing that, she can be a handful. The velocity was really good. I thought she was sharp. Wednesday night, I thought she was almost too fresh. The stuff was really good. She just wasn't commanding it. Today, it was on point right from the first pitch, and I'm proud of the way the defense responded behind her. They made a lot of good plays."
On the performance of the hitters...
"I thought we did a really good job of commanding the strike zone. When we can do that, we can be pretty good. Today was a testament to that. Danielle Gibson Whorton has been doing an unbelievable job with the hitters. They've been working their tail off getting in some extra detail work, and it's starting to pay off. I feel like we're in a pretty good place, so we just have to keep working."
On the team's mindset going into tomorrow...
"It's just another day. In terms of big picture stuff, it's an important day in terms of doing what we need to do. We must be consistent in what we're doing. Right now, one of our themes is when you think consistently, you can behave consistently, and when you behave consistently you can get the outcomes you're looking for. Tomorrow is another opportunity for us to try and be consistent in how we think and how we behave and fight for the outcomes that we want."
Georgia and Mississippi State will close the series Sunday at Jack Turner Stadium. First pitch has been moved up to 12 p.m. due to incoming inclement weather.