Daily Dawg Thread: March 16, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: March 16, 2024

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SB: No. 5 Georgia defeated No. 14/15 Alabama 4-2

The fifth-ranked Georgia softball team defeated No. 14/15 Alabama Friday evening in Georgia’s Southeastern Conference opener at Jack Turner Stadium, 4-2.

The Dogs’ win streak extends to seven as Georgia improves to 22-3 on the season and 1-0 in SEC play.





Ellie Armistead was a bright spot at the plate for Georgia, going 3-for-3, including a go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth. Sara Mosley and Dallis Goodnight each scattered two hits on Friday.

Madison Kerpics (8-1) won her four-inning start in the circle. She allowed one run on two hits. In relief, Shelby Walters worked two and a third innings, striking out two. Lilli Backes earned her fourth save, recording the final two outs in the seventh.





Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

A two-out solo home run in the top of the second put Alabama (21-4, 1-3) on the board, 1-0.

With one swing of the bat, Armistead put Georgia in front with a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth, 3-1.

Alabama used a solo home run in the fifth to narrow the Dogs’ new lead, 3-2.

Georgia added an insurance run in the fifth. Lyndi Rae Davis drew a one-out walk, her second of the game. Mosely stepped in and sent the first pitch she saw into the left-center gap, easily scoring pinch runner Hannah Davila to bring the lead back to two, 4-2.

Walters and Backes combined to hold the Tide in the sixth and seventh inning en route to the win.

Georgia and Alabama face off in game two of the series Saturday at Jack Turner Stadium. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. live on SEC Network.

Head Coach Tony Baldwin

On the crowd…

“I just talked to our team about taking a minute to take it all in. Unbelievable environment it was. On a crazy weather kind of day where you kind of thought, ‘Man, we’re not going to get to play,’ it ends up being a nice night. And the crowd was crazy. I know parking and getting in is a nightmare with all of the construction. I’m just so thankful for Dawg Nation coming out and supporting us. It made a difference. We could feel them tonight, and it’s just an awesome college softball game.”

On the competitiveness of the team tonight…

“I’m just really proud of the way they kept competing and staying in it. We’ve talked about it over and over again about our ability to play under strain. I talked to them before the game, and [Alabama’s] Kayla Beaver is as good as anybody in the country. The only way you can beat somebody like that, keep grinding your at-bats, and beat them in the fourth, fifth inning. And we were able to do that tonight. She was really good. I thought Madison [Kerpics] really competed and gave us an opportunity to win the game. She didn’t have her ‘A’ stuff, but she competed and got us through the lineup twice. She gave us a chance to win the game. I thought Shelby [Walters] was really sharp and started to look like Shelby again. And then Lilli [Backes] just comes in and just does what Lilli B does. Super proud of some of the great plays we made on defense. Ellie [Armistead] with the huge at-bat, the three-run home run, to really change the momentum of the game. Lots of really good things, and I’m just proud of the way we competed.”

Box Score

BSB: UGA falls at Kentucky 16-10

On a rainy Friday night in Kentucky to open Southeastern Conference action, the Wildcats claimed a 16-10 win over No. 25 Georgia.

Kentucky (15-3, 1-0 SEC) erased a couple of early deficits with three five-run innings and tallied 14 hits, including seven for extra bases. The Bulldogs (17-2, 0-1 SEC) could never have a big inning despite scoring in six of nine innings.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first. With one out, sophomore Charlie Condon (1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2IBB) was hit by a pitch and took second on a wild pitch. Graduate Dylan Goldstein laced a run-scoring single to left. The Bulldogs loaded the bases and junior Henry Hunter drove a Travis Smith offering to the wall in left field that stayed in the park for a sacrifice fly. Georgia extended its lead to 4-0 in the second, scoring two runs on two hits and three walks. Graduate Dillon Carter led off the frame with his fifth home run. Slate Alford followed with a double, and Condon was intentionally walked. With one out, Fernando Gonzalez drew a walk to load the bases. Senior Corey Collins notched an RBI with his 16th walk of the year. Smith escaped without any further damage.  The Wildcats got on the board in their half of the second courtesy of a wild pitch, one of five on the night by the Bulldogs. Mitchell Daly reached on a one-out walk, took third on a base hit by Ryan Nicholson and then scored to make it 4-1.

In the fourth, the Wildcats sent nine to the plate as part of a five-run frame that chased graduate Charlie Goldstein. Kentucky collected six hits, including three straight run-scoring doubles, to surge ahead 6-4. The Bulldogs made it a one-run game when Collins connected for his third home run of the year, a solo shot in the fifth. The Bulldogs took a 7-6 lead in the sixth, only to see Kentucky answer with another five-run outburst for an 11-7 advantage. The scoring started and ended with home runs, a solo blast from Nolan McCarthy and a two-run shot from Daly. Kentucky added its third five-run inning in the seventh to extend its lead to 16-7. Collins hit his second home run of the night in the eighth. In the ninth, Condon smashed a two-run double for the final.

Wildcat reliever Evan Byers picked up a win to move to 2-0, pitching a scoreless inning. Bulldog sophomore reliever Kolten Smith fell to 0-1, allowing five runs on five hits in 2.1 innings. He walked on and struck out five. The Bulldogs left 12 men on base.

“We didn’t play very well tonight,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Wes Johnson. “We scored 10 runs on only seven hits and left way too many baserunners on. We didn’t execute pitches when we needed to, especially in tight situations and did some uncharacteristic things. We have to get better with two strikes, tip your hat to Kentucky, they got the win tonight. We’re going to flush it and come back to the yard tomorrow and be ready to go.”

The Kentucky series continues on Saturday. First pitch in Lexington is set for 2 p.m. The game will be available on SECN+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

Box Score

WTEN: Dawgs open SEC play with a hard-fought win over Texas A&M

Dasha Vidmanova

After nearly five hours of back-and-forth action, No. 29 Dasha Vidmanova’s comeback victory over the ITA singles No. 1 Mary Stoiana was the decider as the No. 10 Georgia women’s tennis team earned a hard-fought 4-3 victory over No. 14 Texas A&M at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Friday.

“It was special,” said head coach Drake Bernstein. “Athens is a special place to play tennis, and we’re glad that we get to be a part of the community, and the community comes out to be a part of this. Sticking around obviously, that’s a four-and-a-half-hour college tennis match with a battle from start to finish. Just to have a couple hundred people still there at the end of the match is something special.”

The Bulldogs (10-3, 5-0 SEC) have won eight consecutive matches and remain undefeated in Southeastern Conference play. Georgia now leads the all-time series against Texas A&M (12-6, 4-1 SEC) 19-4, going 2-0 against the Aggies this season.

Opening the day with doubles action, the Bulldogs fell just short and dropped a tightly contested doubles point.

After Georgia fell 6-4 on court three, No. 34 Mai Nirundorn and Guillermina Grant leveled the doubles score at 1-1 with a 7-6(2) win over Lucciana Perez and Jeanette Mireles (Texas A&M) on court two. Despite a late comeback on court one, the Bulldogs fell 7-6(4), clinching the doubles point for the Aggies.

Moving on the singles, the back end of the order was crucial in Georgia’s comeback bid.

On court five, Guillermina Grant was dominant from start to finish as she cruised past Daria Smetannikov (Texas A&M) 6-1, 6-0 to level the score at 1-1. No. 98 Anastasiia Lopata followed up shortly after with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win over Perez (Texas A&M) to hand the Bulldogs their first lead of the night at 2-1.

Texas A&M bounced back to level the match at 2-2 with a victory on court two, but it was not long until No. 78 Nirundorn came up big on court six with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 comeback victory over Mireles (Texas A&M) to give Georgia a 3-2 lead. 

A tough third set tiebreaker loss on court three gave life to the Aggies at 3-3, shifting all eyes on court one.

No. 29 Vidmanova struck first with a 6-4 first set win before falling late in an extended 6(10)-7 second set, leaving the match down to the third set. Trailing 5-1 in the third set and dealing with cramps late against No. 1 Stoiana, Vidmanova sparked momentum and strung together four-straight games to level the set at 5-5.

After splitting the next two games to force a tiebreaker, Vidmanova battled back once again from 3-1 down to clinch the match with a 6-4, 6(10)-7, 7-6(5) victory over Stoiana (Texas A&M).

The win marks Vidmanova’s highest-ranked win as a Bulldog, earning her four wins in her last six matches against ranked opponents.

“I’m super proud of everybody,” Bernstein said. “All six courts, a very competitive effort. Dasha battling, having a match point in the second set and cramps early in the third, just the will to keep going. Super proud of her. Total team effort tonight.”

Georgia will return to action at home when it faces off against No. 41 LSU on Sunday, March 17 at 1 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series against LSU 49-4, as they will look to pick up their 50th win against the Tigers. After opening the all-time series 6-4, Georgia has won each of the last 43 matchups against the Tigers.

No. 10 GEORGIA vs No. 41 LSU

Date: Sunday, March 17

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Location: Athens, Ga.

Venue: Dan Magill Tennis Complex

Live Video/Scoring: https://gado.gs/9y9 

Singles Results

No. 29 Dasha Vidmanova (UGA) def. No. 1 Mary Stoiana (TAMU) 6-4, 6-7 (10-12), 7-6 (7-5)

No. 17 Nicole Khirin (TAMU) def. No. 25 Alexandra Vecic (UGA) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)

No. 30 Mia Kupres (TAMU) def. No. 68 Mell Reasco (UGA) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5)

No. 98 Anastasiia Lopata (UGA) def. Lucciana Perez (TAMU) 6-3, 6-3

Guillermina Grant (UGA) def. Daria Smetannikov (TAMU) 6-1, 6-0

No. 78 Mai Nirundorn (UGA) def. Jeanette Mireles (TAMU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

Doubles Results

No. 6 Mary Stoiana/Mia Kupres (TAMU) def. No. 8 Aysegul Mert/Dasha Vidmanova (UGA) 7-6 (7-4)

No. 34 Guillermina Grant/Mai Nirundorn (UGA) def. Lucciana Perez/Jeanette Mireles (TAMU) 7-6 (7-2)

Sydney Fitch/Nicole Khirin (TAMU) def. Alexandra Vecic/Mell Reasco (UGA) 6-4

Match Notes:

No. 14 Texas A&M 12-6 (4-1 SEC)

No. 10 Georgia 10-3 (5-0 SEC)

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,4,2,6,3,1)

UGA Sports in action today

University of Georgia Gymnastics vs Collegiate Challenge

Saturday, March 16

Nashville, Tenn.

University of Georgia Gymnastics vs Collegiate Challenge https://admin.georgiadogs.com/calendar.aspx?game_id=24837&sport_id=18

University of Georgia Women’s Golf at Florida State Match Up – Day 2

Saturday, March 16

Seminole Legacy Golf Club / Tallahassee, Fla.

University of Georgia Women’s Golf at Florida State Match Up – Day 2 https://admin.georgiadogs.com/calendar.aspx?game_id=24563&sport_id=17

University of Georgia Softball vs Alabama – Girl Power Day

Saturday, March 1612:00 – 2:00pm

Athens, Ga., Turner Softball Stadium

University of Georgia Softball vs Alabama – Girl Power Day TV: SEC Network Streaming Video: https://www.espn.com/watch/player?id=b29beda6-f89e-4341-8b8c-22c452d7d6d6https://admin.georgiadogs.com/calendar.aspx?game_id=24802&sport_id=13

University of Georgia Baseball at Kentucky

Saturday, March 162:00 – 5:00pm

Lexington, KY

University of Georgia Baseball at Kentucky TV: SECN+ Streaming Video: https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/f23ed3d0-c293-446f-b3c4-00e2ce8db465 Streaming Audio: https://admin.georgiadogs.com/showcase?Live=4577https://admin.georgiadogs.com/calendar.aspx?game_id=24875&sport_id=1

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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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