STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the third-straight game of the series, the seventh-ranked Georgia softball team (29-3, 7-2) rallied with one out left to extend the game, winning Sunday’s series finale at #21 Mississippi State, 3-2.
Mississippi State (27-6, 3-3) broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead a run. With two on and two out in the top of the seventh, Ciara Bryan punched the would-be winning hit to right center, driving in both runs and taking the 3-2 lead.
Brittany Gray pitched her 14th complete game en route to her 15th win in the circle. She struck out five batters and walked none.
Georgia and Mississippi State each scattered five hits in Sunday’s finale. Five Georgia players each had a hit while Bryan had two RBI and Alysen Febrey had one.
Mississippi State’s Saria Niu hit a solo home run, her third home run of the season, in the bottom of the second to take a 1-0 lead on Georgia.
Febrey drove in the tying run in the next inning with a single lined into left, scoring Cortni Emanuel.
Niu hit into an RBI fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth to recapture the lead in MSU’s favor, 2-1.
Justice Milz led off the top of the seventh with an infield hit followed up by a walk to Alyssa DiCarlo. MSU made a call to the pen for Holly Ward to face Febrey. A grounder back to Ward allowed Febrey to reach but Milz, the lead runner, was out at third for the first out. Both runners moved into scoring position on a groundout by Mahlena O’Neal. Down to Georgia’s final out, Bryan lined a single into right center, driving in both runs and putting the Bulldogs on top, 3-2.
Gray worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh to secure the series win for Georgia.
Georgia returns to Jack Turner Stadium Wednesday to host Kennesaw State at 6 p.m.
Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer
On the team’s fight…
“I’m so proud of the team’s heart. They keep fighting. They keep getting out there and finding a way to get it done. This is the SEC; it’s hard to win on the road and the team really stood their ground and fought hard. This is one of the best series we’ve been a part of in a sense of the inch-by-inch and continuing to fight.
On Brittany Gray’s performance this weekend…
“She pitched outstanding. She had really good spin, really good movement, good [velocity]; her changeup was ridiculous. She and the rest of the seniors showed tremendous heart and leadership this weekend. We have a great senior class and this weekend showed that more than ever.”
On the lineup competing from top to bottom…
“Everyone chipped in and found different ways to get the job done. We had the long ball, we had scrap ball, we got them on and found way to get them in. I can’t say enough about Ciara [Bryan] today. The come-from-behind wins Friday and today were just fantastic.”