Daily Dawg Thread: May 08, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: May 08, 2024

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SB: Georgia travels to Auburn for 2024 SEC Tournament

Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2024

First Pitch: 5 p.m. ET





Location: Auburn, Ala.

Stadium: Jane B. Moore Field

Media Information





TV: SEC Network

   Play-by-play: Beth Mowins

   Analysis: Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza

   Sideline: Holly Rowe

Streaming: ESPN app

Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com

Twitter Updates: @UGAsoftball

The 14th-ranked Georgia softball team will travel to Auburn, Alabama for the 2024 SEC Tournament at Jane B. Moore Field.

The seventh-seeded Bulldogs will take on tournament host and No. 10 seed Auburn in the first round on Thursday at 5 p.m. live on SEC Network.

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

Follow the Bulldogs

– Tuesday and Wednesday’s first-round games and Thursday’s quarterfinals will air live on SEC Network. Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Michele Smith with Jessica Mendoza (analysis) will be on the call with Holly Rowe reporting.

– Live stat links can be found on the softball schedule page on GeorgiaDogs.com.

– Live Twitter updates will be available on the official Twitter page of Georgia softball, @UGAsoftball.

SEC Tournament Tidbits

– Georgia’s all-time SEC Tournament record is 21-25 (.457) in 22 appearances

– Georgia’s lone tournament title came in 2014 in Columbia, South Carolina

-This will be the first time Georgia will be the No. 7 seed

– Georgia is 2-0 against Auburn in the SEC Tournament, facing off in 2002 and 2005

– The Bulldogs are 0-1 when the SEC Tournament is held in Auburn (2007); Georgia dropped a 3-2 decision in nine innings to Alabama

– Georgia’s 21 SEC Tournament wins and .457 percentage rank sixth and fifth, respectively, in tournament history

– Georgia has reached the tournament finals five times, fourth-most in league history; most recently in 2014 when the Bulldogs won the title

– The Bulldogs have four Championship runner-up finishes (2002, 2004, 2005, 2011)

– Pitching coach Chelsea Wilkinson was the Tournament MVP in 2014 when Georgia won its first and only SEC Tournament championship in Columbia, South Carolina

Series History

– Georgia leads the all-time series 40-26

– The Bulldogs are 20-13 on the road in Auburn

– Georgia is 2-0 against Auburn in the SEC Tournament, facing off in 2002 (Chattanooga) and 2005 (Gainesville)

– The teams last faced each other in 2023 in Athens when Georgia won the series against the Tigers

– The last time Georgia played in Auburn was 2022 when Auburn won the series

Georgia in the Polls

Georgia in the Poll: Week 13

     – USA Today/NFCA: 14

     – ESPN/USA Softball: 14

     – D1Softball: 13

     – Softball America: 14

     – RPI: 6

Recapping Action

Georgia fell to Mississippi State in its final SEC series over the weekend. MSU started the series delivering Georgia its first shutout of the season, 2-0. The UGA bats responded in the second game of the series, putting up five runs while Shelby Walters and Lilli Backes combined for the pitching staff’s ninth shutout of the season, 5-0. Mississippi State took an early 2-0 lead in the finale and kept Georgia at bay to win the series finale 2-1.

A Look at What’s Ahead

The winner of game four between Georgia and Auburn will advance to game eight to face second-seeded Florida on Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.

Feeling Good

Dallis Goodnight has had the best season of her college career in 2024. Goodnight led Georgia on the season with a .352 batting average and put together a .440 on-base clip with 12 stolen bases. She also led Georgia in batting in SEC play (.379), against Top 25 opponents (.355), and against top 75 RPI teams (.345). In conference play, her .379 average was the fourth-best in the league while she finished eighth with a .446 on-base percentage and seventh with 16 runs scored. She started the final 15 games of the regular season in the leadoff spot in Georgia’s lineup.

Congratulations, Grads!

A total of nine Georgia softball student-athletes have completed their degrees from the University of Georgia this May including Ellie Armistead, Sydney Chambley, Lyndi Rae Davis, Hayley Eaton, Jadya Kearney, Madison Kerpics, Sara Mosley, Riley Orcutt, and Shelby Walters (Masters). The nine newest graduates join Jaiden Fields and Sydney Kuma who have already completed their degrees from UGA.

Senior Bats Come Alive for Senior Weekend

The senior class had a big offensive series against Florida in the final home series of the season. Four seniors combined to hit eight of Georgia’s nine home runs on the weekend, led by three from Sara Mosley and two each from Jaiden Fields and Sydney Kuma. Of Georgia’s 19 RBI on the weekend, seniors were responsible for all but one. Seven seniors combined to hit .347 on the weekend, scattering 17 hits.

Backes Out of the Bullpen

Lilli Backes currently has six saves on the season, the second-most in the SEC. Her six saves is third-most in a single season at Georgia and is already top 10 in career saves. She has finished the second-most games of anyone in the SEC, completing 20 games. She also has appeared in relief the second most; 23 of her 38 appearances have been in relief.

Sara Mosley: The RBI Machine

Sara Mosley currently ranks third in the SEC with 57 total RBI this season, which ranks 15th in the country. Her 1.08 RBI per game is third in the conference and 27th in the country. She has recorded 12 multi-RBI games this season, four of which she drove in five or more runs. Her 220 career RBI rank fifth all-time at Georgia, and she is currently sixth among active Division I players. Her 61 home runs is seven shy of tying Alyssa DiCarlo’s record of 69 set in 2019.

WGOLF: Dawgs climb the leaderboard at NCAA Auburn Regional

Caterina Don (Photo: Tony Walsh/UGAAA)

The Georgia women’s team fired a 2-over 290 in Tuesday’s second round of the NCAA Auburn Regional and more importantly, climbed to a tie for fifth on the team leaderboard. The top-5 teams following Wednesday’s final round at the Auburn University Club will advance to the NCAA Championships.

Fast Facts

• Fifth-year senior Caterina Don led Georgia with a 3-under 69, tying for the low loop of the field on Tuesday. Don’s round was more impressive considering she double-bogeyed No. 2 before playing her final 16 holes at 5-under.

• Georgia’s 2-over team tally was the second-best score posted on Tuesday.

• The Bulldogs also counted a 73 from Bernice Olivarez Ilas and a pair of 74s from Napat “Jenny” Lertsadwattana and Natachanok “Drive” Tunwannarux.

• Entering the final round, there are seven strokes separating the six teams in the second-seventh positions on the team leaderboard.

• Three Bulldogs occupy top-25 spots on the individual leaderboard. Don is tied for ninth at 2-over 146, Lertsadwattana is tied for 14th at 148 and Olivarez Ilas is tied for 25th at 151.

• The Bulldogs will be paired with Oregon and Tulsa for the third round, teeing off from No. 10 between 9:00-9:44 a.m. ET with live scoring available via www.golfstat.com.

• Georgia is looking to advance to the NCAA Championships and record a top-20 national finish for the fourth straight season.

Key Quotes

“We thought we had a chance to make a run like we did at SECs,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “The golf course was hard but hat’s off to our fifth-years. That’s why they are in the lineup this time of year. They’ve got a lot of experience, and they stepped up when we really needed them.”

“You’ve just got to play well (tomorrow),” Brewer said. “You’re trying to win the day. You might throw Auburn out, truthfully, just because they are up and will be really head to beat on their home golf course, just like we were last year. One thing is that we have experience. We’ve found a way to close in NCAA Regionals where other teams have not. We’re going to rely on that. We’re just going to get a good night’s sleep and get ready to tee it up. Five hours of competing, what is better than that? It’s why you’re at the University of Georgia. Let’s just hope we can do what we did today tomorrow.”

“My head was like ‘this is not how I’m going to go out,’” said fifth-year senior Caterina Don. “I made two bad swings in a row and the next tee shot was not my favorite shot on the course. Once I hit it down the middle, I was like “let’s go.’ I mean, it happens. I knew there were going to be some birdie chances out there. I my mind I was thinking I just made three bogeys in a row. You’re going to make three bogeys at some point so I just kept going.”

Up Next

Following Wednesday’s final round of the Auburn Regional, the top-5 teams will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa on Carlsbad, Calif, on May 17-22. There are five other Regionals wrapping up tomorrow to determine the 30-team field for the NCAAs.

MTEN: Bryce Warren promoted to associate head coach

Bryce Warren (L) and Jamie Hunt

Bryce Warren has been promoted to the associate head coach of the Georgia men’s tennis program and will begin filling that role on July 1, incoming head coach Jamie Hunt announced on Tuesday afternoon. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Bryce on my staff as Associate Head Coach,” said Coach Hunt. “He is one of the best coaches in the country. He’s a tireless worker and a great recruiter. Most importantly though, he deeply cares about his players and builds great relationships with them.”

Warren returned to Georgia on July 14, 2023, after serving as the associate head coach at Arizona from the 2021-2023 seasons. The 2024-25 campaign will mark his fourth season on the Bulldogs’ staff. Across his seven seasons on the staff of college tennis programs, Warren’s teams have amassed a 134-67 record. 

“I am thrilled to take this next step in my coaching career and continue working with Coach Hunt,” said Warren. “Athens is a special place, and I am looking forward to continuing the legacy of excellence that this program is known for. I’m very thankful to Jamie and the administration for this opportunity. We will continue to put in the work to help this program compete for championships.”

As a coach for the Bulldogs, Warren has seen two All-SEC First-Team selections and three Second-Team nominations as well as an ITA All-American. During his first stint in Athens, Warren helped recruit the third-ranked class in 2019. He saw four players reach the top 15 of the ITA Singles poll a combined 11 times.

While at Arizona, the program had its most successful years in history to that point, totaling three straight NCAA tournament berths and advancing to two Super Regionals. Before his arrival, the Wildcats had not won a match in the NCAA tournament since 2004.

The program also won its first Pac-12 regular season title in 2022 and followed it up with another conference championship in 2023. Warren was named the 2023 ITA Southwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

Before coming to Georgia, Warren served as the assistant academy director for the New England Academy of Tennis in Natick, Massachusetts where he oversaw the high-performance junior program. He has also worked as a tennis pro at various racquet clubs throughout the northeast. In 2012, he was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame. 

Warren played collegiately at Butler University from 2007-11, earning first-team All-Horizon league honors in 2009. He then attended Keene State College from 2011-12 and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. 

From 2003-07, Warren played on the St. Francis DeSales High School boys’ tennis team, where he was named first-team all-state and was a four-year No. 1 singles player.  

Warren and his girlfriend Ashley Avery have been together for five years and currently reside together in Athens. Avery played college tennis at the University of Massachusetts and graduated in 2020 before getting her master’s degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College in 2021.

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

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