Highlights from Georgia Softball's game against NC State in the NCAA Regional.
May 17, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - A seventh inning rally wasn't enough as the Georgia softball team dropped a 5-4 decision to the NC State Wolfpack in the third game of the NCAA Athens Regional on Saturday, May 17 at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Georgia. With the loss, Georgia drops to 46-13 on the year, while NC State improves to 36-16 overall.
Chelsea Wilkinson suffered the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits and four walks in a complete game performance. She also struck out nine batters. Emily Weiman earned the win, allowing four runs on six hits and 11 walks. She struck out five batters.
Paige Wilson was a force at the plate, going 4-for-5 five with a RBI and a run. Alex Hugo, Tina Iosefa and Anna Swafford were each a tough out, drawing a combined nine walks. Katie Browne was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
After a pair of strikeouts in the top of the first, NC State took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Molly Hutchison. Wilkinson settled in and struck out the next batter she faced to end the inning.
Wilkinson kept the Wolfpack at bay in the second, striking out all three batters, bringing her game total to six. The offense looked to strike in the home half of the second, loading the bases on a pair of walks and an infield single, but a groundout ended the inning.
NC State went down in order in the top of the third inning allowing the Georgia offense to get back to work. Hugo and Iosefa led off of the inning with back-to-back walks. After an out, Swafford worked the count full and then walked to load the bases. With one away, Browne took the first pitch she saw into shallow right for a single that allowed Hugo to come home and tie the game at one. The next two batters were retired in order to end the inning with the bases loaded.
The Wolfpack answered quickly, retaking the lead at 2-1 in the top of the fourth when Lana Van Dyken lead off the inning with a solo home run to right. That was all NC State would get in the inning as the next three batters were retired in order.
The Bulldogs tied the game at 2-2 in the home half of the fourth. Wilson led off the inning with a double into the gap in left center and moved to third on a single by Geri Ann Glasco. After sending several balls deep but foul, Hugo flew out to right for a sacrifice fly that allowed Wilson to score from third. A passed ball allowed the runner at first to advance, but she was thrown out trying for third for an inning ending out.
NC State got a one-out walk in the top of the fifth inning, but a 5-4-3 double play ended the inning. Scout Albertson rocketed a pitch to short, but a Wilson made the stop on a diving play, flipped to Hugo at second for out number two, who leapt, turned and first to Glasco at first for out number three.
After a scoreless fifth, NC State retook the lead 3-2 in the top of the sixth. Kirsty Grant led off with a single to left and moved to third on a single to by Van Dyken. On the throw in, Van Dyken moved to second. An intentional walk to Hutchison loaded the bases for the Wolkpack before a walk to Leah Jones drove in Grant for the go ahead run. Sam LaZear recorded out number two when she ran from center to right at the infield dirt to catch a fly ball. Wilkinson settled in and struck out the next batter to end the inning with the bases loaded.
The Bulldogs had a chance in the bottom of the sixth after a single by Wilson and walks to Hugo and Iosefa loaded the bases, but a pop out ended the inning before a run could cross.
NC State added two runs in the top of the seventh inning to extend its lead to 5-2. After a walk, Grant, Renada Davis and Van Dyken recorded three straight singles that plated two runs for the NC State. A single to right by Hutchison looked to add a run, but Puailoa gunned down Davis at home on a perfect strike to Browne. A groundout to Bethany Beggs at third ended the inning.
Georgia didn't go down quietly, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Swafford and Browne led off the bottom of the seventh inning with back-to-back walks before advancing on a slap hit down the first base line by pinch hitter Malia Rivers. LaZear drove in a run on a groundout that brought the score to 5-3. Wilson delivered a single to right that allowed Griffin to cross the plate to cut the lead to 5-4, but a groundout ended the game.
Georgia will face the winner of game four of the NCAA Athens Regional between UAB and Chattanooga at approximately 6 p.m. The winner of the game will have to defeated NC State twice tomorrow, May 18. Rain is in the forecast tomorrow, so please stay tuned to www.georgiadogs.com for scheduling updates.
Georgia Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer
"I want to compliment NC State, I think they did a good job in the game today. I thought Paige Wilson was unbelievable at the plate all day long. I also think Swafford was clutch as she has always been. We had so many opportunities to put runs across the board and that will be our goal next time when they're sitting there on the bases."
Paige Wilson, Georgia Shortstop
On NC State's Emily Weiman...
"[NC State's pitcher] did a really good job, she went in and out and had us chase balls and we didn't take what the umpire gave us. We have to come back into the next game and swing at strikes."
Anna Swafford, Georgia Right Fielder
On her day at the plate...
"All the pitches were really close, it probably could have gone either way. I will take a walk any day just to be on base for my team because I have faith in my teammates behind me. A walk is just as good as a hit to me.
Shawn Rychcik, NC State Head Coach
On the game...
"We were fortunate enough to be on top. They're a really good team. We were just managing to get enough outs and get out with the win. ... The maturity of our team developed and who we became: a 35 win eventually. We knew we could play better than we did last time and we obviously did."
Emily Weiman, NC State Pitcher
On the speed of the game...
"I am good under pressure and I trust my defense. Today I was just telling myself to not give in and that was probably the main thing to helped me get through those innings and tough spots and heck of a line-up up and down. I was focused on slowing the game down. We are playing in a huge stadium in the SEC, so the fans do play a factor as well. So just controlling the momentum and breathing and taking one pitch at a time is what I was trying to do."
On Chelsea Wilkinson...
"She's a really nice pitcher. You're gonna see her strike some people, but our hitters just did a really good job of adjusting and that's the name of the name of the game at this point. She's a good competitor and she's gonna come out real tough in every game. Georgia is a great team and you've gotta give them credit."
Lana Van Dyken, NC State Third Baseman
On her day at the plate...
"It feels really nice. I'm just happy that I could come through for my team in a bunch of situations."
On her home run...
"My first pitch was an outside change up. I wanted to lay off of the first pitch just to see where she's pitching me. After my first at-bat I told myself to slow down and focus more on the ball and not get caught up in fans and what's going on around me. I saw the low inside pitch low coming and I thought that I could hit the ball well. So I just rotated my hips and turned on it."