2006 Softball History
Georgia Captures SEC Eastern Division Championship and Advances to NCAA Regional
The 2006 Georgia Softball team reached several plateaus in 2006, highlighted by securing its third Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title en route to posting its fifth consecutive season of 54 or more wins. Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer also secured her 500th career win on April 2 with a victory over Ole Miss.
The Bulldogs entered the 2006 season with high expectations and did little to disappoint - posting a 54-15 overall record and earning a berth in the NCAA Regionals. Georgia tallied a 24-6 mark in SEC play to secure the division title. Although the Bulldogs concluded the season one game short of advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals, Harris-Champer is pleased with her team's success in 2006.
"I feel like we had a good year," said Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer. "I was pleased with our offensive production throughout the season. I was equally impressed with the way Kasi Carroll took a step to the next level as she carried us in the circle throughout the postseason."
Georgia relied on a trio of hurlers - Kasi Carroll, Katie Griffith, and Jessica Doucette - to carry the pitching workload in 2006. Carroll concluded play with a 30-6 overall record with a 1.44 ERA in 224.1 innings pitched. The junior right-hander collected a win against every SEC school and posted eight wins against top-25 teams. Doucette tallied a 13-4 record this season with a 2.50 ERA in 114.2 innings of work. Griffith rounded out the threesome with an 11-3 record and a 3.05 ERA in 119.1 innings.
"I was very excited to see Kasi progress as the year went along," said Harris-Champer. "She was able to add pitches to her repertoire and had success with them."
Offensively, the Bulldogs concluded the season with the seventh-highest team batting average (.318) in the nation. Georgia also ranked fifth in the nation in scoring, tallying an impressive six runs a game.
Outfielder Kellie Middleton posted a team-high .409 batting average with 22 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 40 RBI and 39 stolen bases. Doucette checked in with a .318 batting average with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 53 RBI. Megan McAllister hit .350 with 16 doubles, 16 home runs and 64 RBI. Courtney Knight also contributed a .345 batting average with 46 RBI while Chelsea Cantillo checked-in with a .354 batting average with 32 RBI.
"I am proud of our hitters for the excellent job they did this year," Harris-Champer said. "They did a good job throughout the season of preparing themselves and making timely adjustments at the plate."
Georgia set a school record after three student-athletes earned All-America distinctions this season. Middleton, Doucette and McAllister each were selected to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA and Easton All-America teams, marking the fifth consecutive season that two or more Bulldogs earned this accolade.
The Bulldogs tied a school-record with six student-athletes on the SEC First, Second and All-Freshman teams. McAllister and Middleton were named to First Team, while Carroll, Cantillo, Doucette and Knight were named to the Second Team. Cantillo was also selected to the All-Freshman team.
Carroll also earned All-America honors after the junior right-hander was named to ESPN the Magazine's 2006 Academic All-America First Team.
Despite the loss of two seniors, Harris-Champer and the Bulldogs will look to continue to rewrite the Georgia record books next season.
"I am really excited about next year and I'm ready to get started," said Harris-Champer. "Next season should be a fun year and I'm excited about watching the progress of all the players in the program."