Saturday wasn’t optimal weather for a doubleheader—it was 48 degrees and cloudy, with mist throughout the early afternoon. Though, mother nature did not interfere with the 16th Annual Georgia Classic, as the eighth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs defeated UMass and Belmont, 4-0 and 8-1 respectively.
Georgia shutout UMass, making this their fifth straight game not giving up a single run. Lauren Mathis started for the Bulldogs in the circle, striking out five. Mary Wilson Avant pitched two full innings for Georgia in relief for Mathis. She struck out one, and combined Mathis and Avant only walked three.
Kiara Oliver pitched all six innings for UMass. She struck out seven, but began to struggle most notably in the fourth inning. Savana Sikes hit a triple with two RBIs. Mahlena O’Neal grounded out, but brought home Sikes scored, making it 3-0 Georgia. The Bulldogs carried the momentum for the remainder of the game, going on to score another run in the fifth inning.
“I think we just have a lot of good softball players. I think that is a recruiting philosophy, just getting people who can play good softball. Just being able to stick someone in the outfield or in the infield and we have some players who can do that. We were just taking a lot at some options to protect ourselves a little bit later down the road,” associate head coach Tony Baldwin.
In the second game of the day against Belmont, the Bulldogs lost their shutout streak, giving up a run in the sixth inning. However, Belmont struggled pitching, walking seven and only striking out three. They gave up three runs in the first inning.
Georgia will wrap up the Georgia Classic against Belmont again tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.