Highlights of Georgia's 3-0 win over UAB in an elimination game on Saturday night.
More Video: Post Game Press Conference
May 17, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - The fourth-seeded Georgia softball team used home runs from Anna Swafford and Paige Wilsonto defeat UAB 3-0 in an elimination game in the NCAA Athens Regional at Jack Turner Stadium on Saturday, May 17 in Athens, Georgia.
With the win, Georgia moves to 47-13 on the year while UAB's season ends at 32-27 overall. The win also marks the 800th all-time victory for the Georgia softball program.
Sophomore Chelsea Wilkinson(31-8) pitched a complete game en route to earning the win for the Bulldogs. The North Carolina native gave up just three hits and two walks while tying a season-high with 14 strikeouts. Leigh Streetman (19-17) took the loss for the Blazers, giving up four hits and three runs in 6.1 innings of work, while also recording three strikeouts and three walks.
"I'm proud of our two big, clutch hits from (Anna) Swafford and Red (Paige Wilson)," said Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer. "You can't say enough about Chelsea, too. I thought she was absolutely phenomenal and really led our team in a number of different ways."
Saturday's win against UAB gave Wilkinson her eighth double-digit strikeout performance this season and her first since May 2 in a 5-1 victory over Kentucky.
Wilson finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, a pair of RBIs and a walk. Along with Swafford's home run, Kaylee Puailoa and Samantha LaZear also recorded a hit apiece for the Bulldogs.
Swafford put Georgia on the scoreboard first, 1-0, when she launched a solo home run over the left center field fence to lead off the second inning. The Bulldogs served as the designated visiting team in the regional game, despite playing on their home field.
Wilkinson made quick work of the UAB lineup early on, striking out six of the first seven batters she faced, including six straight after UAB's second batter of the game, Kristen McGrath, reached base when hit by a pitch.
The Blazers threatened in the bottom of the fourth when Megan McGrath singled through the right side to leadoff the inning and Mary Warren drew a one-out walk to put two runners on base. Wilkinson responded by inducing a foul pop up and striking out Amy Dennis to end the inning and keep UAB scoreless.
Georgia added two more runs in the fifth as LaZear led off the inning by beating out an infield single and Wilson followed with a two-run home run over the right field wall that extended Georgia's lead to 3-0.
Afer a scoreless sixth inning by both teams, Lannah Campbell entered the game for the Blazers with one out in the seventh, recording the final two outs of the inning on a double play.
Georgia returns to action at Jack Turner Stadium tomorrow at noon to take on N.C. State. The Bulldogs fell 5-4 to the Wolfpack earlier today and must win twice against N.C. State tomorrow in order to advance out of the regional. If Georgia wins the first game, the second game will be played at approximately 2:30 p.m. Rain is expected in tomorrow's forecast, so stay tuned to georgiadogs.com for any scheduling updates that may occur.
UAB Head Coach Maria Townsend:
"This is the 15th team that has come through UAB softball and it's been a fun ride. I've got four great seniors that have taken us to four NCAA regionals in a row, this being our 5th. It's from hard work and they buy in to our competitive schedule. We have the 2nd toughest nonconference schedule in the country. They could have easily folded early and they didn't. They kept working and they take pride in wearing the uniform. They're relentless. I'm proud of them and I'm proud of the fight that they brought this week."
On getting calls...
"We're the type of team where we don't have to have every call go our way. We strive to have no errors and we strive to win the freebie war. It was simple. I felt like he went out of the zone on that last call. Everybody's human, everybody makes mistakes, but what a costly time. This says we left six on base, but it's really seven."
Megan McGrath, UAB Infielder
On Chelsea Wilkinson...
"She was spinning the ball well, but the first time I went out there I just said, "she's not going to get me again." I go up there every time with a mindset that no one's gonna get me out. I know she's a good pitcher, but I'm not going to give her any credit because cause she's a good pitcher and I'm a good hitter. So, I went up there and just did what I could."
Georgia Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer
"I'm really proud of the team. I thought they came out and were resilient after the first game of the day. I'm proud of the two big clutch hits, the first by Anna Swafford and Paige Wilson coming in, keeping her hands up, and then hitting one into the trees. Also, I can't say enough about Chelsea Wilkinson. I thought she was phenomenal on the mound and really lead our team. She had 14 strikeouts, doing it all different ways, made me incredibly proud of her performance. Overall this was a good team effort."
Chelsea Wilkinson, Pitcher
"We went into the first and second game fighting, wanting to win and wanting to advance and we knew that losers go home. We aren't ready to go home yet."