SOFTBALL: Bulldogs Continue Perfect Start

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SOFTBALL: Bulldogs Continue Perfect Start

Mahlena O'Neal greeted by her teammates at home plate after her home run
Mahlena O’Neal greeted by her teammates at home plate after her home run

The Bulldogs potent offense and shutdown pitching led to victories in both games in the Georgia softball team’s doubleheader against Presbyterian College, which ended with scores of 10-1 and 8-0.

The first game saw Bulldogs’ pitcher Mary Wilson Avant take the mound and she only allowed three hits and one run during her three innings of work. She also had three strikeouts. However, the lone run that Avant gave up was a home run from Presbyterian’s Courtney White, but it did not matter in the game’s outcome because of the Bulldogs’ high-powered offense. The Bulldogs earned their ten runs in a variety of ways, but their base stealing ability played a big role in this victory.
The Bulldogs had five stolen bases in this game with Sydni Emanuel swiping two and Cortni Emanuel, Justice Milz, and Ciara Bryan each had one. Cortni Emanuel has been an amazing base stealing threat for the Bulldogs as she has earned nine stolen bases through 7 games.
Stolen bases were not the only thing working for the Bulldogs in game one as they also had the long ball going, as well. The Bulldogs had two home runs with Alyssa DiCarlo and Mahlena O’Neal each having one. DiCarlo has provided the Bulldogs with outstanding power thus far as she now has four home runs through six games. Maeve McGuire also had an excellent day as it was a day of threes for her as she had three hits, three RBIs, and three runs.
Amanda Ablan came in to shut the game down for the Bulldogs, and she did that by not allowing a single base runner in her two innings pitched. Ablan struck out four of the six batters she faced. The game ended after the top of the 5th due to the eight-run ‘mercy’ rule, with a score of 10-1.
Brittany Gray pitched the second game of the doubleheader, and she continued her dominant start to the year. Gray got into a bit of trouble in the early innings because of defensive errors, but her ability to keep runs from coming across to score despite those errors is what made this a great day for her. Gray finished the day with the win plus five strikeouts in three innings pitched. Gray’s dominance has been stifling so far this season as she has totaled 19 strikeouts and only allowed one earned run in 19 innings pitched.
Another dominant player for the Bulldogs is Alyssa DiCarlo, and she also continued her great run when she got the scoring going for the Bulldogs with her two-RBI double in the first inning. DiCarlo continued to build on her outstanding performance on the day with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning. The Bulldogs had a big second inning as they added on five total runs in the inning pushing their lead to 7-0.
Mary Wilson Avant came in to pitch the last three innings for the Bulldogs, and she allowed a couple of baserunners to reach. She mirrored Gray’s performance, however, in that she was able to prevent any runs from scoring. The game ended in the sixth inning when Lacey Sumerlin hit a ball down the left field line and the opposing third basemen was unable to corral the ball, which allowed pinch runner Jordan Doggett to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 8.
The Bulldogs continued their perfect run, and they are now 7-0 to start the year. They will look to continue their win streak with a doubleheader at Jack Turner Stadium this Friday on Feb. 17 against Northern Kentucky University and the University of Lousiana-Monroe.
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Michael Pope is a Journalism student in the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, with an emphasis in sports. He enjoys covering all sports, especially basketball, football, and baseball.