SB: Georgia Classic Begins Today at Jack Turner Stadium

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SB: Georgia Classic Begins Today at Jack Turner Stadium

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Date: Feb. 21-23, 2020
Location: Athens, Ga.
Stadium: Jack Turner Stadium
Admission: FREE
Georgia’s Tournament Schedule:
Friday – vs. Central Michigan, 3:30 p.m. / vs. #21 James Madison, 6 p.m.
Saturday – vs. #21 James Madison, 1 p.m. / vs. Central Michigan, 3:30 p.m
Sunday – vs. Austin Peay, 1 p.m.

Media Information
Streaming: SEC Network+
Play-by-play: Karlie Smith
Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com
Audio: WUOG 90.5 FM / Mixlr

The 19th-ranked Georgia softball team hosts the Georgia Classic this weekend at Jack Turner Stadium, beginning Friday. The Bulldogs welcome Central Michigan, #21 James Madison, and Austin Peay to Athens.

Georgia is in the midst of a span of 13 games in 12 days; 12 of which will be played in Athens. 17 of Georgia’s next 18 games will be in Athens.

This Weekend’s Promotions
» Admission to every home regular season Georgia softball game is FREE

Jacqui Switzer
Jacqui Switzer

Follow the Bulldogs
» Every Georgia game will stream live on SEC Network+. Karlie Smith will call play-by-play.
» Georgia games can be heard on WUOG 90.5 FM or on Mixlr. Streaming links can be found on the softball schedule at GeorgiaDogs.com.
» Live stats will be available for all games. Live stat links can be found on the softball schedule at GeorgiaDogs.com.


BULLDOGS BULLETIN
Series Histories
Central Michigan

» Series tied 1-1
» The teams first met in 1998; CMU run-ruled Georgia in five innings in Tampa
» Last meeting was in 2004 in Columbus, Georgia
James Madison
» Georgia leads series 3-0
» First met twice in Athens in 2014
» Last meeting was in Orlando in 2015
Austin Peay
» Georgia leads series 1-0
» Met four years ago in 2016 in Athens; Georgia win 17-8 in five innings

Looking Back
Georgia bounced back with an 8-0 run-rule victory over Samford at Jack Turner Stadium Wednesday. Junior Lauren Mathis worked a complete-game shutout in the circle, registering a new career-best 13 strikeouts in five innings. For the third time this season, junior Mackenzie Puckett, in a pinch-hit role, ended the contest by knocking a grand slam in the fifth inning to run-rule Samford, 8-0.

A Look at What’s Ahead
Georgia has another busy week coming up as the Bulldogs host Alabama State next Tuesday before venturing to Clemson for the first-ever match-up with the Tigers in their inaugural season. Georgia hosts the Bulldog Classic next weekend to end tournament action in 2020. Boston College, Eastern Illinois, and Western Carolina come to Athens.

Puckett Calls Game… Again
Junior Mackenzie Puckett has been clutch in winning moments her first season at Georgia. Three times she has knocked a game-winning hit to run-rule the opponent. The first, she hit a three-run home against UNCW then followed it up the very next game with an RBI double to end the game against Howard the same day. In the Feb. 20 game against Samford, she hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam to lift Georgia to an 8-0 victory in five innings.

Bryan’s Bat Brings the Heat in Clearwater
Senior Ciara Bryan knocked a total of three home runs in five games in Clearwater, Florida. Bryan’s tally was the most of any player from the 16 teams that competed in Clearwater. Her second home run led off the game against #21 Northwestern. It was the first time a Bulldog led off the game with a home run since Anna Swafford did it against Missouri on Mar. 28, 2014. After the SPC Elite Invitational, Bryan’s season tally was six home runs in 11 games.

In as Few Innings as Possible
Georgia opened the season with seen-straight run-rule victories. The Bulldogs last began the season with seven-straight run-rule victories in 2016 when they run-ruled their opponent in the first 10 games, the program record. During that span in 2016, Georgia outscored its opponents 108-7 with seven shutouts.

Georgia Has Strong Start Statistically
Opening weekend saw Georgia rank top-five nationally in a number of offensive categories including batting average (.411), on base percentage (.504), scoring (9.4 runs/game), and triples per game (0.80). The Bulldogs also ranked top 10 in slugging percentage (.688). In the circle, Georgia’s 0.81 ERA ranked 11th and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 9.0 ranked seventh.

Georgia in the Polls
In the Week 2 polls, Georgia fell to a ranking of #19 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and #18 in the USA Softball/ESPN.com Poll. D1Softball and Softball America gave Georgia a #20 ranking.

A Full February
The Bulldogs will begin the season with a full slate in the month of February. Georgia will play 24 (17 in Athens) of its 56 regular season games this month, that’s over 40 percent of the regular season. Of those 24 games, the Bulldogs will face four preseason top 25 opponents in #4 UCLA, #14 Northwestern, #18 Texas Tech, and #20 James Madison.

Trio of Bulldogs Appear in Softball America’s Top 100
Lacey Fincher (#72), Ciara Bryan (#83), and Justice Milz (#93) appear in Softball America’s 2020 Top 100 Players list, released prior to the start of the season. 2020 is the second season in a row the Bulldogs have landed three in the top 100 list.

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Greg is closing in on 11 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.