The (24-4,0-1) UGA softball team’s winning streak ended at 12 as they were defeated in their first game of SEC play by the (19-4,1-0)University of Kentucky in a fierce pitching duel, which ended with a score of 2-1.
The Wildcats struck first in the opening inning on a single from third baseman Abbey Cheek, which scored the team’s leadoff hitter first baseman Erin Rethlake. They went on to add on to their lead by adding a second run in the third inning and that ended up being enough to win the game for them.
The starting pitching for both the Wildcats and the Bulldogs was phenomenal with both pitchers going the distance and pitching the complete game. The two pitchers gave up a combined 3 runs with Wildcats starter Meagan Prince giving up one run and Bulldogs’ starter Brittany Gray giving up 2 runs.
Prince simply outdueled Gray in this pitching battle and although both starters had a great day, the one extra run that Gray gave up ended up being the difference. Prince finished her day by only allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 4 walks. She also had 9 strikeouts on the day and did a great job of stranding Bulldogs on base.
Meanwhile, Gray finished her day allowing seven hits, hitting two batters with a pitch, and walking one batter. Although allowing so many base runners may seem like what leads to a poor outing, Gray found a way to strand many of those base runners and only gave up two runs while also striking out seven batters.
The Bulldog bats struggled in the early portion of the game as center fielder Cortni Emanuel earned the team’s first hit in the bottom of the third. The Bulldogs bats picked up in the fourth inning and third baseman Alyssa DiCarlo earned the team’s first run on a double from shortstop Lacey Sumerlin.
The Bulldogs will face the Wildcats in the second game of the series on March 19th at 7:00 p.m.