The 16th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs softball team opened their season 2-0 following back-to-back wins on the first day of the Red & Black Showcase at Jack Turner Stadium Friday.
In the opening game of the 2020 season, the Bulldogs (2-0) defeated the Howard (0-2) Bison in five innings, 11-1. Immediately following, Georgia squared up against Kent State (1-1), defeating the Golden Flashes, 10-1, also in a five-inning affair.
#16 Georgia 11, Howard 1 (5 inn.)
It was two freshmen who ignited the Georgia offense in the first matchup of the day. Freshmen Sara Mosley and Sydney Kuma accounted for seven runs, both going a perfect 2-for-2. Kuma recorded back-to-back doubles in her first two career at bats and accumulated two RBI. Also dominant at the plate were sophomore Lacey Fincher and senior Jordan Doggett who recorded three RBI apiece. Senior Justice Milz, sophomore Savana Sikes and redshirt-freshman Jaiden Fields also tallied one RBI.
Senior Mary Wilson Avant (1-0) got the first start in the circle for the Bulldogs. In her three innings pitched, Avant tallied seven strikeouts and surrendered one unearned run without allowing a hit. Senior Alley Cutting pitched one inning, accumulating three strikeouts while allowing no runs on one hit. Senior Amanda Ablan finished the game tossing a three-up, three-down inning, including a strikeout to end the game.
Although Howard scored the first run of the day, and their only run of the game, as the result of a passed ball, Georgia plated three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take the 3-1 lead after one inning of play.
After a scoreless top half of the second inning, the Bulldogs drove in two runs on three hits including a pair of RBI from the freshmen Mosely and Kuma.
Georgia continued to quiet Howard offensively through the third inning. Georgia had an explosive third inning, plating six runs and gaining an 11-1 advantage. A bases-loaded, two-out triple from Doggett accounted for three of the six runs in the frame. Sikes, Milz, and Fincher also drove in one run apiece.
The next inning and a half were scoreless for both teams as Georgia run-ruled Howard to seal the 11-1 victory.
#16 Georgia 10, Kent State 1 (5 inn.)
After falling behind in a 1-0 deficit to an early solo home run by Kent State junior Brenna Brownfield, the Georgia bats ignited a comeback in the third and fourth frames. A triple and single by Sikes and Milz respectively led the rally in Georgia’s third. Milz picked up her second RBI of the day driving Sikes in and evening the score at 1-1. Back-to-back stolen bases by Milz combined with a sac fly by Mosley gave Georgia a 2-1 lead to end the third.
Georgia plated six more runs in its half of the fourth with the freshman duo Mosley and Kuma both collecting two RBI giving them each a notable four RBI for the day. Mosley prolonged the rally, sending her first career homerun over the left field wall. Also adding to the effort, Doggett, Kuma, Fields, senior Ciara Bryan, and Fincher recorded hits in the fourth. Additionally, Fincher collected a pair of RBI, and Field’s earned an RBI double to increase the Georgia lead 10-1 at the end of the fourth.
Junior Lauren Mathis (1-0) earned the win for the Bulldogs pitching a complete five innings. An early solo homerun was the only run she allowed to Kent State. Following the first inning, Mathis tossed a scoreless four frames, recording eight strikeouts, and silencing the Golden Flashes for the duration of the game.
Mosely finished the day with three hits including a double and a home run, four RBI, scored three times, and drew a walk with a sacrifice fly.
Georgia returns to action at the Red & Black Showcase with a rematch against Kent State on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. Immediately following, the Bulldogs face UNCW at 3:30 p.m.
Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer
On the team mindset in keeping the momentum going…“I think just keep playing scrappy and keep playing hard. They came out playing fast today. They got behind in each game, and then they never looked back. They stayed gritty and stayed tough. They didn’t worry about it and kept playing softball. I was really proud of them for that.”
On what they can improve on heading into the rest of the weekend…“There will always be things we can improve on, but when you get down to it and find a way to win, you have to be proud of the girls.”
On her confidence putting freshman Sara Mosley hitting clean up in the lineup…“I think it’s all just about protection. It’s about who you need up to protect the hitters in front of you, and she earned the opportunity to protect Lacey.”