March 30, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Alex Hugo hit her NCAA-leading 15th home run of the season to lead the No. 13/14 Georgia softball team to a 6-2 win over the No. 16/19 Missouri Tigers in the series finale on Sunday, March 30 at University Field in Columbia, Mo. With the win, the Bulldogs picked up their 30th win of the year to improve to 30-5 overall and 6-3 in Southeastern Conference play. Missouri dropped to 25-9 on the year and 4-5 in league action.
Chelsea Wilkinson got the start and went the distance for the Bulldogs, allowing two runs on eight hits and one walk, while striking out four. Tori Finucane started the game for the Tigers and allowed four runs on six hits in 4.0 innings of work. Casey Stangel entered the game in the fifth inning and threw the final two innings. She allowed two runs on three hits and two walks.
Hugo provided the big hit for the Bulldogs, hitting a three-run home run in the second inning to put the Bulldogs up 4-0. Hugo went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs. Paige Wilson and Tina Iosefa also recorded two hits, while Geri Ann Glasco went 1-for-3 with two RBI.
Anna Swafford took the first pitch of the game into the right field corner for a leadoff triple. It was the second time this weekend that she has led off the game with an extra base hit. She came around to score one batter later when Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Georgia loaded the bases with two away on singles by Kaylee Puailoa and Iosefa and a walk by Glasco, but could not get another run across as the final out was recorded on a fielder's choice.
Missouri looked to get on the board, putting runners at the corners with two outs in the bottom of the first. Sami Fagan tried for home on a wild pitch, but Katie Browne was able to chase it down and flip to Wilkinson, who was covering the plate for the inning-ending out.
The Bulldogs added three runs in the top of the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. With two outs, Swafford worked the count full before drawing a walk. With one on, Wilson singled up the middle to bring up Hugo. The nation's leader in home runs got another when she belted a three-run home run over the wall in right field to make it a 4-0 game.
After a 1-2-3 third inning, Missouri threatened in the fourth getting singles by Kelsea Roth and Corrin Genovese. Wilkinson won the battle after a 12-pitch at bat by Stangel, who popped up to Hugo in shallow right field to end the inning and any chance of a Tiger run.
The Tigers cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff walk, a single and a passed ball put runners at second and third with one away for Fagan. Fagan lined a single into shallow center, allowing two runs to score. With a runner at first and one out, Wilkinson struck out the next batter before Browne fired to second to catch Fagan stealing for the third and final out of the inning, preserving Georgia's 4-2 lead.
Wilson and Hugo led off the top of the seventh inning with back-to-back infield singles. The duo moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Puailoa and scored when Glasco came through with a single to right center. The two-run single gave the Bulldogs a pair of insurance runs that brought the score to 6-2.
The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday, April 2 at 6 p.m., when it starts a five game home stand at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga., against in-state rival Georgia Tech. Georgia will resume SEC play next weekend, April 4-6, when it welcomes South Carolina to Jack Turner Stadium.