March 9, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - No. 18/19 Georgia completed the weekend sweep in dramatic fashion at sundrenched Jack Turner Softball Stadium on Sunday, March 9, as a Paige Wilson walk-off home run gave Georgia a 3-2 win over Purdue. With the win, Georgia improves to 21-2 on the year, its best start since the 2002 season.
Wilson collected the most important hit of the day as she went 1-for-4 including her two-RBI homer. Anna Swafford starred with both bat and glove, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and made a `web gem' catch in left field as she laid out to rob a hit from Purdue.
Chelsea Wilkinson got the win for the Bulldogs improving to 11-2 on the season. She entered in the fourth and pitched the final three innings in relief, giving up just one hit and striking out six of the 10 Boilermakers she faced. Geri Ann Glasco got the start for the Bulldogs, ending with a no-decision as she went four innings and gave up two runs on four hits while collecting three strikeouts
Having struggled to find an offensive rhythm, Georgia found themselves one out away from defeat in the bottom of the ninth with Samantha LaZear on first after singling over the pitcher's head.
With the count at 1-1 Wilson connected on a no-doubter deep to right field that scored the winning two runs for the Bulldogs. After sprinting around the bases Wilson was mobbed by her teammates and coaches at home plate to celebrate Georgia's second walk-off win in as many weeks.
The first few innings of the game proved to be a pitchers duel as Glasco and Lilly Fecho gave up just one hit each through the first four innings.
Purdue broke the deadlock in the top of fifth inning on a Danielle Fletcher home run before a bases loaded single from Katy McJunkin gave the visitors a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded and no outs the Bulldogs went to the bullpen for Wilkinson.
Wilkinson proved unfazed by the situation as she pitched out of the jam in impressive fashion as the Taylorsville, N.C., native struck out the first two batters she faced. Wilkinson then induced a high fly ball from Tori Chiodo that LaZear kept in her sights despite the bright sun and collected it for the final out of the inning.
Georgia pulled within one in the home half of the sixth. After loading the bases with no outs on a trio of walks, Tina Iosefa stepped up to the plate and sent a towering shot out to right field that was deep enough for pinch runner Niaja Griffin to tag and score. A double play ended a chance for the Bulldogs to tie it, setting up the dramatic walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh.
The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday, March 12 at 6 p.m., when they welcome Tennessee State to the Jack Turner Softball Stadium.