March 15, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - For the second straight game, Alex Hugo delivered a walk off home run in the bottom of the fifth as the No. 15/17 Georgia softball team sealed the weekend sweep of Mississippi State with a 9-1, five inning win in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, March 15 at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga. It marks the second time in as many years that Georgia has swept through its Southeastern Conference opening weekend. With the win, Georgia is now 25-2 on the year and 3-0 in SEC play. Mississippi State is now 21-8 overall and 1-5 in league action.
Chelsea Wilkinson got the start and improved to 14-2 the year in the complete-game performance. She allowed just one run on four hits. She also struck out 12 batters, marking the sixth this season that she has recorded double-digit strikeouts.
Alison Owen suffered the loss to fall to 10-6 on the year. She allowed nine runs, all of which were earned, on nine hits, including four home runs and three doubles.
The Bulldogs carried the momentum from the first game of the doubleheader into the second, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a leadoff home run by Anna Swafford. Swafford took the third pitch that she saw deep into the pines in left center that gave Georgia the early lead.
Georgia made it a 3-0 game in the bottom of the second inning. Kaylee Puailoa led off the inning with a double to center and scored two batters later when Tina Iosefa hit her first home run of the season with a two-run shot to center that extended Georgia's lead to 3-0.
Mississippi State got a run back in the top of the third inning on a solo home run off the scoreboard in left that made it a 3-1 game.
The Georgia offense exploded for five runs in the home half of the third inning. Swafford got things started when she was hit by a pitch for the 13th time this season, tying her season total from a year ago. Paige Wilson sent a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center for a two-run home run, her fourth round-tripper of the year. A pair of singles put two on for Browne, who doubled to left, allowing both runs to score and put the Bulldogs up 7-1. Bethany Beggs followed with a double of her own that scored Browne for the sixth run of the inning that put Georgia up 8-1.
Wilkinson made quick work of MSU in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, picking up five more strikeouts that brought her game total to 13. Needing just one run to seal the five-inning win, Hugo delivered it with a leadoff home run to straightaway center that allowed the Bulldogs to come away with the dominating 9-1 win.
Georgia returns to action on Wednesday, March 19 against Gardner-Webb at 6 p.m., at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga.
Hugo's Walk-Off Grand Slam Lifts Georgia to 11-2 Win over Mississippi State
ATHENS, Ga. - A walk-off grand slam by Alex Hugo in the bottom of the fifth inning helped No. 15/17 Georgia to a series-winning 11-2, five inning victory over Mississippi State in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, March 15. The win moved the Bulldogs 24-2 on the year and 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Mississippi State dropped to 21-7 overall and 1-4 in SEC action.
Geri Ann Glasco remained perfect on the season, improving to 11-0, after throwing a complete-game. She gave up two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits and three walks. She also struck out two. Alexis Silkwood, who came on in relief in the first, suffered the loss to fall to 5-2 on the year. She allowed eight runs on seven hits and three walks. Jacey Punches got the start for MSU, but lasted just 0.1 of an inning after giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. Shana Sherrod threw the final 0.1 of the game, allowed one run on one hit.
Hugo led the team with five RBI on a 3-for-4 day at the plate. She had a single, a double and a grand slam on the day. The walk-off grand slam was the first of her Georgia career and was the 10th home run hit by the sophomore this season. It was the third grand slam of the season for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State struck first, loading the bases with two outs after a pair of singles and a hit batter. A sacrifice fly scored the run to give MSU a 1-0 lead in the first.
Georgia answered in the bottom of the inning, as Paige Wilson walked on five pitches and moved to third on a single to right by Glasco. With runners at the corners and one out, Hugo doubled into the left field corner, allowing Wilson to come home and tie the game at 1-1. Kaylee Puailoa loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch, forcing Mississippi State to go to the bullpen for Silkwood. With the bases loaded and one out, Maeve McGuire hit into a fielder's choice that scored pinch runner Katie Sowers that gave Georgia a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the second, MSU put runners at first and second after two walks, a fielding error at second on a slow roller allowed Mississippi State to tie the game at 2-2. Glasco induced a groundout to third to end the inning.
After a couple of hits, MSU has runners at first and second with two outs in the top of the third. A single would have loaded the bases, but the runner at second tried for home on a bobbled ball at second, but Wilson threw a strike to Browne at the plate to get the runner and end the inning.
Georgia took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Hugo led the inning off with a single before Puailoa drew a walk to put runners at first and second with no outs for McGuire. McGuire hit into a fielder's choice that scored Hugo from second for the go ahead run. With two away and a runner at first, Bethany Beggs came to the plate and recorded a triple, the first of her career, to center that allowed McGuire to cross the plate and give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead.
MSU looked poised to cut into Georgia's lead in the top of the fourth inning, getting runners to second and third with just one out. Glasco settled in and got the next two batters to strike out, ending the inning and any chance of a Mississippi State run.
The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Anna Swafford was hit by a pitch for the 12th time this season to start the inning. A groundout moved her to second before a walk put two on for Puailoa. Puailoa took the 2-2 pitch up the middle for a base hit that allowed Swafford to show off her speed and score from second, giving Georgia a 5-2 lead.
Georgia tacked on six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal the 11-2 win. The inning started when pinch hitter Malia Rivers recorded her first hit as a Bulldog with an infield single. She moved to third when pinch hitter Niaja Griffin doubled to left center. The pair scored when Iosefa, who was pinch hitting for Samantha LaZear, laced a single through the right side. With the bases loaded and one out, Hugo came to the plate and hit a towering home run over the right centerfield wall for a walk-off grand slam that gave the Bulldogs the 11-2 win.