SOFTBALL: UGA Clinches Opening SEC Series with Double Header Sweep of South Carolina
The 15th-ranked Georgia softball team picked up two wins at South Carolina Saturday to clinch the Southeastern Conference-opening series, winning a suspended game one 8-7 then run ruling the Gamecocks in five innings 13-4 in the second game of the day.
Georgia has won 16-straight games and improved to 22-2 on the season and 2-0 in SEC play.
Sophomore Sydney Chambley hit three home runs on the day and drove in six runs. Senior Lacey Fincher had two hits including a home run in each game, driving in four total runs.
No. 15 Georgia 8, South Carolina 7
Georgia scattered seven hits led by two from Fincher including a home run in the first inning. Georgia drew 10 walks in the contest, two each by Sara Mosley, Jayda Kearney, and Ellie Armistead.
Kylie Macy worked three and a third innings in her start, allowing three runs on two hits with six strikeouts. Madison Kerpics pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief, but Britton Rogers (7-0) earned the victory out of the pen, pitching the final three innings.
Game one of the series began Friday but was suspended for weather at approximately 4 p.m. and was resumed Saturday.
Georgia opened the run factory to open the game when Savana Sikes led off the game with a walk, took second on a wild pitch, was bunted to third by Chambley, then scored on a ball in the dirt to go ahead 1-0. Following a walk to Mosley, Fincher launched the first home run of SEC play to widen Georgia’s first inning lead to 3-0.
A leadoff home run from South Carolina’s Katie Prebble cut Georgia’s lead to 3-1 in the second.
The game was suspended with one out in the top of the third and was resumed Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
The fourth inning began with a double to the wall down the left-field line off the bat of Sikes. She took third on a passed ball then came in to score on a line drive base hit into right by Mosley to make it a 4-1 game.
South Carolina (15-8, 0-2) loaded the bases and worked a pair of walks to push in two runs in the bottom of the fourth to narrow the Georgia lead to 4-3. The Gamecocks tied the game the following inning when a leadoff walk came in to score on a wild pitch, 4-4.
Chambley put Georgia back in front with a solo home run in the top of the sixth. Later in the inning, pinch-runner Hayley Eaton came in to score on a fielding error by the left fielder, widening the lead back to two, 6-4.
Jordan Fabien hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to give South Carolina its first lead of the game, 7-6.
Georgia didn’t go down without a fight in the top of the seventh. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no out. Sikes grounded out to short, allowing Jaiden Fields to score and tie the game. With two out, a fielding error by the third baseman extended Georgia’s inning and allowed Lyndi Rae Davis to score and put Georgia back in the lead, 8-7.
Rogers worked a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh to secure the SEC-opening victory and widen Georgia’s win streak to 15 in a row.
No. 15 Georgia 13, South Carolina 4 (5 inn.)
Chambley and Mosley each scattered three hits in the second tilt of the day. Chambley knocked two home runs and drove in five runners in the contest. As a team, Georgia scattered 12 hits including six extra-base hits.
Kerpics worked the complete five innings in her start and improved to 8-1. Kerpics allowed four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
Georgia struck first in the second game of the day. Sikes began the game with a single lined into left. She advanced to second on a groundout then third on a base hit to left from Mosely. Sikes tagged up and scored on a sac fly to right off the bat of Fincher, putting Georgia ahead 1-0.
A two-out RBI triple followed by a two-run home run in the bottom of the second put the Gamecocks in the lead 3-1.
South Carolina didn’t hold the lead for long. Chambley blasted her team-leading eighth home run, a two-run blast to left, to tie the game in the top of the third. Two batters later, Fincher knocked a solo shot to right-center putting Georgia back in front, 4-3.
The Gamecocks tied it up again in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI base hit, 4-all.
A nine-run fifth inning broke the game wide open for the Bulldogs. Mosley broke the tie when she plated Chambley with a single sharply hit through the left side. Georgia loaded the bases then Payden Bordeau provided the big hit with a bases-clearing double to go ahead 8-4 in the fifth. Georgia wasn’t done when Bordeau tagged up on a sac fly from Sikes and scored, 9-4. A three-run home run by Chambley followed by a solo shot from Mosley brought the tally to 13-4 in favor of the Dawgs.
Kerpics shut down the Gamecocks in the bottom of the fifth to secure the five-inning run rule and the series win.
Georgia and South Carolina will close the series Sunday at 2 p.m. in Columbia. The matchup will air nationally on SEC Network.
GYM: Georgia Wins Final Meet of Regular Season
The University of Georgia gymnastics team secured a home victory against the University of North Carolina, 197.175 to 196.475 in their final meet of the regular season on Saturday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum. This marks a season-high score for the team and their first home victory of the season.
Georgia captured all four event titles of the meet. Senior Megan Roberts won the event title for vault while sophomore Victoria Nguyen earned the honor on bars. Senior Alyssa Perez-Lugones’ explosive 9.925 performance on floor secured her the event title and junior Haley de Jong took home the top score on beam with a stunning 9.950 routine.
De Jong (beam) and Perez-Lugones (floor) both earned career-high scores in their respective events while Nguyen posted a season-best score on bars.
“What a way for our seniors to go out at Stegeman Coliseum,” Georgia head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said. “They’ve had a lot of emotions today with it being their last time competing at home in front of our fans like this. Stegeman really is a special place with an unmatched atmosphere. The energy is just different here. And it’s super meaningful to them. It was great to achieve our highest score of the season so far and be able to head to post season with great energy and confidence.”
The GymDogs began competition on vault, where Roberts led the rotation with a solid 9.900, securing the event title. Abbey Ward matched her season-high with a score of 9.875 and Mikayla Magee followed with a 9.850. Both Soraya Hawthorne and Rachel Baumann rounded out the event with scores of 9.825. Overall, the team scored a total of 49.275.
On bars, the team posted a collective score of 49.200, which matched their season-high score. Nguyen swung to a season-high 9.900 and won the event title for the GymDogs. Ward, de Jong and Roberts all received a 9.850 for their respective performances. After the second rotation, the GymDogs led by over half a point.
Collectively, the GymDogs put on a strong showing on beam, posting a 49.325. De Jong’s routine dazzled with a career-high score of 9.950 and secured her the event title. Magee posted a score of 9.875 while Baumann followed with a 9.850. Hawthorne and Nguyen both finished the event with scores of 9.825.
With a total score of 49.375, the GymDogs finished on a high note on floor. Perez-Lugones shined, with her 9.925 performance earning her a career-high score and the event title for the evening. Hawthorne tumbled to a 9.900 while Magee, De Jong and Roberts followed with scores of 9.850.
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