The University of Georgia softball team was eliminated from the Women’s College World Series after an 8-0 loss in six innings to top-seeded Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Bulldogs conclude the 2021 season 34-23.
Graduate Mary Wilson Avant (20-12) worked five innings in her start. She allowed five runs, four earned, and struck out two. Freshman Britton Rogers pitched an inning in relief.
At the plate, junior Lacey Fincher recorded two of Georgia’s three hits, the other coming from redshirt-sophomore Jaiden Fields.
After a scoreless first inning, the Sooners went up 2-0 in the top of the second. With two outs and a runner on first, Mackenzie Donihoo hit a homerun to left field giving Oklahoma an early advantage.
Oklahoma added a run in the fourth inning on two hits and brought in a run on a Bulldog error. Georgia got its second hit of the game with a double from Fincher in the bottom of the inning but was left on base.
The Sooners continued scoring in the fifth inning. With the first batter of the frame reaching on a walk, Kinzie Hansen homered to center field to bring in two more runs.
Freshman Sydney Chambley started the bottom on the frame with a walk before Fields singled to centerfield. Freshman Ellie Armistead reached on a fielder’s choice, but Fields was called out at second while Chambley advanced to third. The runners were left on base after the final batter struck out swinging.
Down 5-0 to start the sixth inning, Rogers came in to pitch for Avant. The Sooners added three runs on three hits and held Georgia in the bottom of the inning to run rule the Bulldogs.
The 2021 season was the 25th in the history of Georgia softball and 21st under head coach Lu Harris-Champer.
Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer
On controlling the Oklahoma offense…
“It was a similar game plan, but you have to tip your hat. Oklahoma is a very good team. They’re very talented and deep. (Giselle) Juarez threw a fantastic game today against us. I am so proud of our team. No one wants to come up short. Where this team started to where we have ended this season, I couldn’t be more proud. I’m so thankful to Mary Wilson and our seniors for everything they’ve done and for their leadership. And how our team really just stood up in the face of adversity and continued to compete together with great team chemistry.”
On the atmosphere at the Women’s College World Series…
“The atmosphere is awesome. I love the conditions of this stadium. A shout out to OKC and to everyone who has done this for the sport of softball- it’s absolutely beautiful. My first time was quite a few years ago and it was grassy hills down both sides. It’s come so far and I love the commitment to the sport. It’s only going to get bigger and better. The venue is beautiful. Thank you to ESPN and all they do for our sport. I can’t say enough about this.”
On what made hitting difficult for the Bulldogs…
“You have to say how (Giselle) Juarez pitched a really good game. She had a little different of a game plan than she did the first time against us and you have to give it to her. When she needed big pitches she made them. We had a couple opportunities to break through, but again, when she needed the pitches, she made them.”
Junior infielder Lacey Fincher
On the surge the team took to get to the Women’s College World Series…
“I think we had a great season. We learned a lot throughout the season. We had our ups and downs but through our downs we took away what was good. What did we learn from in the game or practice. We kept growing and kept trusting each other and our process. This team is gritty. The Georgia Bulldogs are the definition of grit. You have players like Mary Wilson Avant who is just a baller. She goes out there every single day and gives it her all. Ellie Armistead- She is such a good player and such a good human and beautiful person to have on your team as in loving everyone and the game. I can’t wait to see what this team has for the future. We definitely are going to miss our seniors, but I’m proud of where we can and where we’re at right now.”