Feb. 23, 2014
ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 17/17 Georgia softball team improved to 12-1 on the year after splitting a double header with No. 19/19 South Alabama and Fairfield on the final day of the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. Georgia dropped a hard-fought 3-2 decision to South Alabama, before taking a 10-0, five-inning win over Fairfield in the afternoon game.
Georgia returns to action next weekend, Feb. 28-March 2, when it hosts the Sixth Annual Bulldog Invitational at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga. The Bulldogs will host Western Carolina, St. John’s and UAB in the three-day tournament.
No. 19/19 South Alabama 3, No. 17/17 Georgia 2
Georgia took an early lead and battled back to tie the game in the sixth, but South Alabama was able to plate the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to take the game 3-2.
Chelsea Wilkinson (7-1) got the start and went the distance, allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits and four walks. She also struck out seven batters. Hannah Campbell (4-0) got the win, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks in six innings of work. She also struck out five. Farish Beard picked up her first save of the season, throwing one scoreless inning of relief. She walked two and struck out two.
Georgia struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With runners at first and second, Alex Hugo took the 2-2 pitch up the middle for a single that scored Anna Swafford from second. Kaylee Puailoa loaded the bases with a single, but the runners were stranded as the final out was recorded.
The Jaguars answered in the bottom of the first when Blair Johnson hit a two-run home run over the right field fence that put South Alabama up 2-1. The runs were the first given up by Wilkinson all season and also the first home run given up by a Georgia pitcher. Following the homer, Wilkinson settled in and struck the next two batters out to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Katie Browne found a gap in left center for a single that put a runner on with one out. Tina Iosefa came on to pinch hit for the Bulldogs and came through with an RBI single that scored pinch runner Adele Harrison and tied the game 2-2.
South Alabama looked to answer in the bottom of the frame when a hit batter, a double and an intentional walk loaded the bases. Wilkinson got behind in the count 2-0, but came back and caught the batter swinging for the final out of the inning, preserving the 2-2 tie.
The Bulldogs looked to retake the lead in the top of the seventh, putting the first two batters on by way of walks. New pitcher Beard settled in and retired the next three batters in order to end the inning.
The Jaguars led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk to put a runner aboard. With two away, Amanda Minahan singled that advanced the runner to third, but a throwing error scored the game-winner that sealed the 3-2 win for South Alabama.
Georgia 10, Fairfield 0 (Five Innings)
Georgia bounced back from its 3-2 loss to claim a 10-0, five-inning win over Fairfield in the second game of the day. The win marked the third time this weekend that the Bulldogs shut out their opponent.
Geri Ann Glasco (5-0) got the start and threw her second complete game shutout this season. She allowed just three hits and struck out four batters to get the win. Rae Bell suffered the loss. She allowed 10 runs, six of which were earned, on seven hits and walk. She also hit four batters and struck out four.
Once again, Georgia got out to an early lead, plating three runs in the bottom of the first. Paige Wilson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second on a single to center by Swafford. Glasco was able to take advantage of a fielding error to load the bases with no outs. Puailoa drove in the first run of the game when she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Iosefa grounded into a double play, but Swafford was able to come one on the play, extending Georgia’s lead to 2-0. With a runner at third, Alex Hugo tried to leg out a triple, but was thrown out. During the play, Tiesha Reed was able to cross home to put Georgia up 3-0.
The Bulldogs carried the momentum into the home half of the second inning, putting up five runs on three hits, a walk and three hit batters. Browne was the first hit batter of the inning. Adele Harrison came in to run for Browne and scored when Bethany Beggs doubled to center. A fielding error scored the second run of the inning, extending the Bulldog lead to 5-0. A throwing error by the catcher made it a 6-0 game. With runners at second and third, Iosefa singled to right, scoring both Swafford and Wilson and giving Georgia an 8-0 lead.
Georgia picked up an insurance run in both the third and fourth innings, sealing the 10-0 shutout victory. An RBI-groundout by Wilson scored the ninth run of the game in the third inning, while an infield single by Hugo scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth.