Though rain washed out the final game of the Georgia Bulldogs’ slated doubleheader with the Furman Paladins, Georgia defeated Furman in its first game, 12-1, behind five home runs on Wednesday afternoon at Jack Turner Stadium.
This marks the first contest with five home runs this season for the Bulldogs (23-5). The last time Georgia was able to complete this feat was February 9 of last season against Bethune-Cookman. The Bulldogs also accumulated three of its five home runs in one inning, the first three-home run inning since Georgia hit three-consecutive in the first inning against Florida in 2018.
Leading the way at the plate was sophomore Lacey Fincher, knocking two home runs for the first time this season and the second time in her career to total three RBI. Seniors Mahlena O’Neal and Ciara Bryan, along with freshman Sydney Kuma also blasted a home run in the contest. O’Neal tied Fincher for the team-high three RBI. Two Bulldogs contributed two RBI apiece, including Bryan and Kuma. Freshman Sara Mosley went a perfect two-for-two from the plate. In total, Georgia plated 12 runs on 10 hits.
Senior Mary Wilson Avant (11-4) started in the circle for the Bulldogs, working three innings. Avant struck out four and allowed one run on two hits. Senior Amanda Ablan entered in relief, pitching the final two innings for Georgia. Ablan recorded two strikeouts, allowing no runs and two hits.
Bryan drew the lead-off walk for the Bulldogs and eventually scored Georgia’s first run as the result of a Furman (7-19) error to go up 1-0 in the bottom of the first.
An RBI double from the Paladins knotted the game at one in the top of the second. The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the second by plating five runs off three home runs. O’Neal blasted the first shot, a two-run home run over the right center wall. Later in the inning, Kuma sent one over the center field wall to score her and Bryan. On the ensuing at-bat, Fincher knocked one deep over the center field wall to extend Georgia’s lead to 6-1.
Avant pitched a three-up, three-down inning in the top of the third. In the bottom of the frame, the Bulldogs produced another five-run inning, including another pair of home runs. Junior Jacqui Switzer was scored first as the result of a squeeze bunt from O’Neal. Sikes followed with a walk and a two-run shot from Bryan plated hem both. Kuma recorded a single and Fincher followed with her second bomb of the game, another two-run shot.
Georgia tacked on its final run of the contest with an RBI single from Sikes to score Switzer. Ablan clinched the 12-1, five-inning, run-rule victory in the top of the fifth.