Feb. 24, 2011
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The No. 1-ranked University of Georgia softball team split a pair of one-run games on Thursday at the Cathedral City Classic falling to No. 18 Oklahoma State, 1-0, before defeating No. 6 Oklahoma, 1-0.
Both games proved to be pitching duels that came down to the final innings as Oklahoma State (10-2) scored its lone run in the bottom of the fifth in game one while Georgia (11-1) plated its run against Oklahoma (11-2) in the top of the seventh.
Against Oklahoma, senior Taylor Schlopy ended a scoreless contest with a two-out RBI triple to the fence in right in the top of the seventh. Junior Ashley Pauly scored the run from first after reaching on a single.
From the circle, senior Sarah McCloud held the Sooners at bay into the sixth before turning it over to sophomore Alison Owen. Owen (2-0) faced the final seven batters striking out five for the win. Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts (5-1) took the loss despite throwing a complete game with 12 strikeouts.
In the first contest, the Cowgirls' Kat Espinosa (5-0) got the win by tossing a complete-game, three-hitter while walking five and striking out four. Georgia freshman Morgan Montemayor (5-1) suffered her first loss of the season after working the first 4.1 innings allowing the game's lone run on four hits. Senior Katie Murphy then worked the final 1.2 innings for the Bulldogs.
Oklahoma State produced its run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Maria Gearhart was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a RBI single up middle from Alysia Hamilton.
The Bulldogs comeback attempt fell short in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, three-straight two-out walks loaded the bases before Espinosa induced a pop up to end the inning. In the seventh, Georgia put two more runners on base with a single from junior Kristyn Sandberg (2-for-3) and a walk from freshman Julia Echols, but the Bulldogs could not push across a run.
It marked the first time UGA has been shutout since losing to Kentucky, 2-0, May 7, 2009, in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Georgia returns to action in the Cathedral City Classic with two more games on Friday. The Bulldogs face No. 21 Texas A&M at 3:30 p.m. ET and Oregon State at 6 p.m. Live stats will be available through www.georgiadogs.com.