May 20, 2011
ATHENS-----No. 8 Georgia used a three-run third inning followed by a five-run outburst in the fourth to beat Georgia State 8-0 in five innings in the NCAA Softball Athens Regional Friday at Jack Turner Stadium.
The Bulldogs (48-12) advance to face UAB in the winner's bracket Saturday at 12 p.m. The winner of that game will move on to the regional championship game slated for Sunday at 12 p.m.
Megan Wiggins, Brianna Hesson and Laura Trout had two hits apiece to lead Georgia, and the top four of the Bulldog order combine to go 5-for-10 with eight RBIs. Hesson set a season-high with five RBIs.
Morgan Montemayor (24-3) scattered four hits in five innings while striking out six to pick up the win, while native Athenian Alana Thomas (9-10) took the loss for Georgia State.
"I thought it was a great game," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "The atmosphere was amazing. The fans were fantastic on both sides and they made the game really exciting. I was really proud of Mo for pitching her game and the defense. They did an outstanding job getting good reads and picking up everything. You can't say enough about [Megan] Wiggins being a great leadoff and Bri [Hesson] coming up with five RBIs in one game. That's pretty clutch."
Georgia struck first for three runs in the bottom of the third. Trout led off the inning with a single to extend her hitting streak to nine games, then scored on a fielder's choice by Schlopy as she slid under the tag of Georgia State catcher Maddy Stanton for the game's first run. The Bulldogs then loaded the bases for Brianna Hesson, who laced a double to center field, plating Schlopy and Wiggins to give Georgia a 3-0 lead.
Trout again started a Georgia rally in the fourth with a leadoff single and came around to score on a fielder's choice by Wiggins. Schlopy then doubled in a run to make it 5-0. The big hit in the inning came from Hesson, who cleared the bases with a three-run double, extending the Georgia lead to 8-0.
Montemayor finished the game by retiring 11 of the last 12 Georgia State batters faced.
"We just came out and we tried to have great synergy and we really did," Montemayor said. "We just wanted to band together and fight. The hitters did awesome, defense went off of that and pitching did too. Georgia State was an awesome team and we just needed to fight hard to get the win."
The Panthers (36-24) will now face Florida State in an elimination game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The winner will play again at 5:00 p.m. against the loser of Georgia and UAB.
Live stats for all Athens Regional games can be found on www.georgiadogs.com, and free live video for all contests will also be available.
2011 NCAA ATHENS REGIONAL SCHEDULE OF GAMES:
Friday, May 20
2:30 p.m. Game 1: UAB d. Florida State, 2-0
5 p.m. Game 2: Georgia d. Georgia State, 8-0 (5 innings)
Saturday, May 21
12 p.m. Game 3: UAB (H) vs. Georgia (V)
2:30 p.m. Game 4: Georgia State (H) vs. Florida State (V)
5 p.m. Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3
Sunday, May 22
12 p.m. Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
2:30 p.m. Game 7 (If Necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6
Game Two Post-Game Quotes
Georgia 8, Georgia State 0 (5)
Georgia Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer
"First off, I thought it was a great game. The atmosphere was amazing. The fans were fantastic on both sides and they made the game really exciting. I was really proud of Mo for pitching her game and the defense. They did an outstanding job getting good reads and picking up everything. You can't say enough about [Megan] Wiggins being a great leadoff and Bri [Hesson] coming up with five RBIs in one game. That's pretty clutch."
On coming out of the first game with a run-rule win...
"I was proud of our team for the way they responded. I thought [Georgia State] came out playing some good ball. I think Coach Kincade has done an excellent job with his team and they looked really good. I'm proud of our team for responding the way that they did."
"I know they're a strong program. They've come out of a tough conference and I watched them play a great game this afternoon and we're going to do our best to get after it."
Georgia outfielder, #25 Megan Wiggins
"I think we just had a mentality to come out aggressive and to keep punching away all game. We're in the postseason so everyone is good and fighting hard. Georgia State is a great team. We just came out and played our game. We stuck together, played together and just played Georgia softball."
On the team's attitude playing in the postseason...
"Coming from the SEC Tournament, I think that it was a good way to go out, knowing that we have a lot to work for and a lot to achieve. We still have a lot of ball to play. Going into the postseason where everyone wants to go, you're playing a lot of teams who want to go to the same place that you want to go so you have to step it up and get all the things together that you've been struggling with throughout the season and step it up. I think today, we did a good job coming together as one and making our chemistry a lot better. I think we'll continue to do that throughout the postseason."
Georgia outfielder, #8 Brianna Hesson
"I think that we have the best 64 teams trying to play to get to the World Series and obviously Georgia State came out and they were ready to put up a fight and it showed in the first three innings. As a team, we came together after and said we needed to relax and play Georgia softball and that's what we did."
Georgia pitcher, #44 Morgan Montemayor
"We just came out and we tried to have great synergy and we really did. We just wanted to band together and fight. The hitters did awesome, defense went off of that and pitching did too. Georgia State was an awesome team and we just needed to fight hard to get the win."
Georgia State Interim Head Coach Roger Kincaid
"I'm proud of our kids. They competed out there for our first time playing in the regionals. We were composed and did what we needed to do in the first two and a half innings. Our kids played great defense the whole way through. We pitched well but got a couple of bad breaks when they piled on and scored five in one inning. I'm pleased with the effort. We've had a great attitude all season. It doesn't matter who we play tomorrow, we're going to show up ready to play ball."
On his team's competitiveness . . .
"We have confidence in our kids in the circle. With the bases loaded you can't pitch around anyone. We had to go after them. I'll take my team to battle with anybody. Our kids play hard and I look for them to come back tomorrow and play strong."
On his team making the NCAA tournament . . .
"I told the team to enjoy every second of this and embrace every single moment. That's what we plan to do. We're here for a reason. We earned it. We plan on being back. This is the first step in a process to get the program we're we want it to be. We want it to be normal for Georgia State to get to a regional."
Georgia State pitcher, #21 Alana Thomas
On playing in the NCAA regionals...
"We played well, and honestly, we're just excited to be here. We're taking in every moment. We're going to be back."
On playing in her hometown...
"It's a great feeling. When we watched the selection show and saw that we would be in Athens, I was very excited. Growing up, I would watch the Bulldogs play. It's an incredible feeling to know that we're here and we're still in it. I felt like I was on top of my game, but they're a great team. They have great hitters who hit solidly. I did the best I could and so did the pitchers behind me. We feel happy about how we played."