Another weekend in Athens filled with Spring Sports brought dramatic wins and stellar performances from many Bulldogs.
After dropping game one of the SEC opening series 11-6, the Diamond Dawgs stormed back on Saturday with a walk-off two run single by senior shortstop Cole Tate to even the series. Sunday’s rubber match, however, was dropped by the Dawgs, and Tennessee claimed the series. Although the lost series is not the best way to start SEC play, the Georgia baseball team is not in bad shape at all. While taking on the Volunteers this past weekend, they were without Head Coach Scott Stricklin due to a positive Covid-19 test as well as their leading run producer Corey Collins due to a pulled hamstring in Friday’s contest. Tennessee is a great top 25 baseball team, and the Dawgs hung with them all series. Expect big things from this Georgia team throughout the rest of the season.
Despite their 4-3 loss to No. 13 Wake Forest on Friday, the Dawgs rallied on Sunday to defeat No. 21 UCF 4-2. The Georgia men snagged the doubles point, but when the singles entered the court, the Dawgs dropped the first set in five out of the six singles matches. While Sunday looked to be another grim outcome, Georgia’s Philip Henning mounted a large comeback and rallied for the clinching win. Henning fell in the first set 2-6, and began the second set down 5-2, but the Dawgs put on their rally cap, and Henning surged back to win 7-6 (7-4) to take the second point. In the third set, it was all Henning as he defeated UCF’s Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi 6-1, sealing the Dawgs’ victory over a top 25 opponent. Henning lost the clinching point in Friday’s match, so a chance at redemption was a great boost of confidence for the No. 3 singles player and great momentum for the 9-5 Bulldogs to carry with them for the remainder of the season.
Much like Georgia baseball, the 19th-ranked softball team opened up SEC play this weekend as well, taking on No. 16 Missouri in Athens. Friday, the ladies dropped game one of the series 6-1. Come Saturday, however, the Dawgs, behind unbelievable offensive production stole game two 14-10. Missouri and Georgia combined for 26 hits, and the Dawgs knocked in five home runs, four of which came in the first inning. Jaiden Fields, Sydney Chambley, and Jayda Kearney knocked in back-to-back-to-back homers in that first inning followed by a Sydney Kuma homer later in the inning. They concluded the first frame up 8-0. While Mizzou fought back with a strong offense themselves, Georgia never relinquished the lead and tied the series with this win.
The rubber match on Sunday was quite the dramatic finish. The Dawgs entered the final inning up 7-3, but the 16th-ranked Tiger were not done yet. They mounted a huge comeback, tying the game in the top of the seventh off of a bases loaded single. In the bottom of the seventh, a leadoff fielding error by the Tiger shortstop, allowing Sara Mosley to reach. Chambley doubled down the right field line to put runners in scoring position. Kearney put the ball in play, drilling a grounder to the Tiger third baseman. Her throw to the plate to tag Mosley running from third sailed over the catcher’s head, and Mosley scored the game-winning run to defeat Mizzou 8-7.
Swimming and Diving
The University of Georgia swimming and diving team secured an eighth-place finish Saturday evening at the 2021 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships. For the 29th time in program history, Georgia finished in the top 10 with 181 points. They placed second in the SEC, only behind Alabama, who finished fifth overall. The SEC placed seven programs in the top 20.
The 8th-place finish for Georgia was highlighted by junior Dakota Luther’s 3rd-place finish in the 200 butterfly. She posted at 1:53.01 time in the event and scored major points for the Dawgs, contributing to their top 10 finish. Sophomore Zoie Hartman had a fantastic outing as well. She earned First Team All-America citations Saturday evening as she finished eighth with a time of 2:07.70 in the 200 breaststroke. Senior Danielle Della Torre also received All-America honors with a 14th-place finish on a 2:08.34 in the same breaststroke.
Track and Field
After a strong finish at nationals for the indoor cycle, the speedy Dawgs of the Track and field team began their outdoor campaign this weekend at the Yellow Jacket Invitational. Friday’s meet was highlighted by senior Marie-Therese Obst 194-feet, 11-inch throw in the javelin. This was the No. 10 all-time throw in collegiate history and a new school record at UGA. The previous record stood for fourteen years by Krista Woodward who threw a 183-11. Obst’s school record beat all other competitors in the field by 63 feet. Her second toss went for 190-7, which would have also led the field and been a UGA record.
The 13th-ranked Georgia women’s golf team scored a 302 in Sunday’s final round of the 49th Annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the UGA Golf Course. Their final score on the weekend ended at 898, placing them in 5th at the tournament. The Dawgs 5th-place finish proved to be unbelievable in a stacked field that featured four top-10 and eight top-25 teams. No. 1 South Carolina finished strong, topping No. 6 Ole Miss to claim the team title. The Gamecocks finished at 881, two shots better than Ole Miss. Kentucky at 890 followed the Rebels, then No. 16 Arkansas at 893 fell behind the Wildcats, and the Bulldogs secured 5th with their 898.