2005 Softball History
Georgia's Seniors Lead Squad to Second SEC Championship in Last Three Seasons
The Georgia softball team continued its trend of rewriting record books in 2005 by earning its second Southeastern Conference championship in the last three seasons under the direction of head coach Lu Harris-Champer.
The Bulldogs clinched their first NCAA Regional and fell one game shy of earning their first appearance in the Women's College World Series after dropping the final game of a three-game Super Regional set with the UCLA Bruins in Los Angeles. Despite not earning an appearance in the Women's College World Series, Harris-Champer is pleased with her team's success in 2005.
"I am extremely proud of our team's effort this season," she said. "Our senior class comprised of Michelle Green, Katie Lewis and Kim Wendland had a tremendous impact on Georgia Softball becoming a top 10 program."
Georgia was picked to win the SEC in the coaches' preseason poll and did not disappoint earning wins in 22 out of its first 23 conference games. The Bulldogs 26 wins in SEC play tied them for the second-most wins in conference history. Georgia clinched all 10 of its SEC series and concluded the season with the sixth-highest team batting average (.317) in the nation.
Green and sophomore Kasi Carroll proved to be a formidable 1-2 punch for Georgia in 2005 after hurling nearly three-fourths of the overall innings in the circle. Green concluded her senior season with a 27-4 record with a 1.35 ERA and 272 strikeouts in 187.1 innings of work. Carroll (17-4, 2.13) started 14 games in the circle for Georgia in 2005 and tied for the third-most saves (7) in the nation after appearing in 19 games in relief. Sophomore Katie Griffith (6-5, 2.91) started eight games for Georgia and earned two saves in eight relief appearances. Freshman Jessica Doucette (5-2, 1.75 ERA) had eight appearances in the circle for Georgia, including a complete game shutout over the LSU Tigers.
Offensively, the Bulldogs paced the SEC with a .317 team batting average. Wendland concluded her senior campaign with a .392 batting average with 12 doubles, 15 home runs and 54 RBI. Sophomore Megan McAllister set the school-record for home runs in a season after launching 16 blasts in 2005. Junior Courtney Knight also sported a .372 batting average with 11 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 40 RBI. Lewis concluded her senior campaign in first place nationally with 34 sacrifice hits.
"Our hitters finishing with a top-six finish in the nation for the second consecutive season shows their work ethic and personal commitment for being the best," said Harris-Champer.
Green and Wendland were named Louisville Slugger/NFCA and Easton All-Americans at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Wendland became the first player in Georgia softball history to earn SEC Player of the Year honors, while Green notched her second SEC Pitcher of the Year award after sharing the honor with Tennessee's Monica Abbott. Harris-Champer tallied her second SEC Coach of the Year honor. The Bulldogs also established a school record with six student-athletes on the All-SEC teams. Wendland, Green and McAllister were all named to the All-SEC First Team, while Doucette and Knight were selected to the All-SEC Second Team. Doucette and freshman Katie Vickers were named to the All-SEC Freshman team as well.
The senior trio of Green, Lewis and Wendland concluded their careers as the most successful senior class in Georgia history, posting a four-year record of 226-63 (.782). The 2005 senior class captured SEC Championships in 2003 and 2005, and earned four consecutive NCAA regional appearances.
The Bulldogs will enter the 2006 season looking to defend their conference crown from a year ago and have their sights set on earning a berth in the Women's College World Series.