LEXINGTON, Ky. – The sixth-ranked Georgia softball team (39-6, 12-4) recorded its 21st shutout of the season with a 1-0 victory over #18 Kentucky (27-14, 4-11) Friday evening.
Mary Wilson Avant (6-1) pitched the complete-game shutout, holding the Wildcats to just two hits. The sophomore worked a no-hitter into the fifth, retiring 11-straight hitters at one point. She recorded a season-high eight strikeouts. It’s her first seven-inning shutout of the season.
The heart of the Bulldog order, Alyssa DiCarlo, Alysen Febrey, and Mahlena O’Neal combined for a hit each to total Georgia’s three on the evening.
Georgia manufactured the winning run in the top of the sixth. DiCarlo drew a leadoff walk to begin the inning then was bunted to second by Febrey. O’Neal got a base hit to fall in right field, scoring DiCarlo from second and putting the Bulldogs ahead, 1-0.
Kentucky loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning but Avant quelled the Wildcat threat. She worked a 1-2-3 inning with two more strikeouts in the seventh to secure the shutout.
The Bulldogs and Wildcats will square off in the second game of the series Saturday at 2 p.m in Lexington.
Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer
On the challenges of a pitchers’ duel…
“I thought both pitchers pitched a really good game for both teams. I was really proud of Mary for getting us out of that sixth inning. They had bases loaded and we were able to lock it down and get out of it. So proud of her and the defense for having her back.
On the sixth-inning offense…
“I was also proud of our sixth-inning offense. We got a walk. We got a good sac bunt. We got single that scored a run that ended up being the game-winner. Really proud of the team.”