Georgia Softball announced Monday afternoon that senior pitcher Brittany Gray would miss the rest of the 2018 season. She suffered an injury to her right biceps. Gray’s scheduled to have surgery to repair the damage and expects to make a full recovery. Despite missing the rest of the season, Gray can go out as a Bulldog knowing she left as one of the best pitchers to come through the university.
Head coach Lu Harris-Champer couldn’t say enough about Gray. She praised her career and how she capped it off with a phenomenal senior season.
We’ve been so fortunate to have Brittany wear the Georgia red and black for almost four years,” said head coach Lu Harris-Champer. “She has had a tremendous career in the circle, capped by a phenomenal senior year.”
During the 2018 season, Gray went 16-1 in the circle. She pitched 12 complete games and shut out seven opponents. Her 0.48 ERA led the SEC and ranked second nationally. Gray struck out 134 opposing hitters in 2018 too.
The loss of Brittany is certainly a setback to the team, but we have the personnel in place to step up and to help guide this team the remainder of the season,” Champer says.
Who Replaces Gray?
Replacing Gray will be hard, but Georgia has an extensive group of pitchers. The rest of the pitchers are Kylie Bass, Mary Wilson Avant, Amanda Ablan, Keara Napoli, and Lauren Mathis.
Bass has the second most starts this season and is 12-1 in the circle. She has 70 strikeouts on the season and has a 2.12 ERA. Bass pitched four complete games so far this season, and that number will likely increase with Gray gone. Avant is 2-1 on the season and started five games. She has 36 strikeouts on the season and a 1.43ERA. Avant’s another option for Harris-Champer to test out in replacement of Gray.
Abalan has five starts and is 2-2 on the season. She has 20 strikeouts on the season and a 2.79 ERA. Abalan shows promise, but it isn’t likely she’ll take over Gray’s ace position. Mathis is 3-0 on the season with two starts. She’s struck out 21 opposing batters and has a 2.95 ERA. Mathis has her moments, but it isn’t up to Gray’s standard. Finally, Napoli’s appeared in three games this season and had a 7.71 ERA. She’s a true freshman and needs to work on her development.
The Legacy She Left
Gray set the standard for pitching at Georgia and leaves a legacy not many can claim.
She finishes her career among the best in Georgia softball history. Gray finished fifth with 60 career wins and 126 appearances. She’s eighth in the rankings for complete games with 39. Gray’s only the sixth pitcher in Georgia history to pitch 500 innings. She fell just five strikeouts shy of 500, finishing sixth with 495.
What now for Georgia Softball
Gray might not have gotten to finish her career at Georgia like she wants, but she made a dent in it After surgery, she could become a mentor like figure to the other pitchers and help them progress. She could help Bass with things she struggles with and help Napoli find her confidence.
Gray’s always the loudest on the bench and despite not playing anymore that shouldn’t change. As the season winds down in the next few weeks, she’ll be heard in the dugout cheering on her teammates and being the team player she is and always will be. The injury may be a big blow to the team, but knowing Gray she’ll make the best of it and lead her team regardless.