The Georgia pitching staff allowed only one hit in the No. 17 Bulldogs’ pair of shutout victories against Winthrop and Samford on Friday at Jack Turner Stadium in the Red & Black Showcase.
Junior pitcher Kylie Bass (2-0) headlined the Samford (0-6) win with the first Bulldog no-hitter since Chelsea Wilkinson’s perfect game against UAB in 2016. The left-handed pitcher totaled eight strikeouts in the first solo no-hitter of her career. In the Winthrop (1-1) contest, senior pitcher Brittany Gray improved to 3-0 on the year with seven strikeouts, while sophomore Amanda Ablan closed out the win with one inning of scoreless work.
“I thought the team did an outstanding job today,” Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. “I was very impressed with our pitching and defense. I thought the defense was stellar. Kylie, I call her ‘The Boss’ out there. She gets it done. She’s really fun for the team to play behind.”
The prowess in the circle was met with an equally dominant offensive production. With 19 runs on the day, Georgia (6-1) has outscored opponents 70-12 in seven games played this season. Sophomore Ciara Bryan led the Bulldogs on Friday with a 4-for-6 clip, featuring three doubles, She was joined by fellow sophomore Mahlena O’Neal, who posted a team-best seven RBI, including a pair of homeruns in the nightcap.
“I can’t say enough about the hard work [Mahlena’s] put in from month to month this year,” Harris-Champer said. “The way that she is just throwing runners out and hitting so well at the plate, what a great day she had.”
In the first game, after a double from sophomore Justice Milz over the head of Winthrop right fielder Shayna Covington, Georgia took advantage of the Eagles’ miscues in the field, scoring one in the first inning on a couple of off-kilter throws in the infield. In the third, the Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead with extra-base hits, including a double apiece from Bryan and freshman Jessica Morgan, as well as a triple from senior Kendall Burton.
The fourth frame featured a six-run Georgia inning, started by back-to-back infield hits from Burton and Morgan, who were driven in by senior Cortni Emanuel and Milz. O’Neal capped Georgia’s 9-0 final in five innings with a three-run blast off the center field wall.
In the second contest against Samford, O’Neal struck first for the Bulldogs with another shot to center, this time over the wall for the 1-0 margin. Georgia tacked on a pair of runs in both the third and fifth runs for a comfortable 5-0 Bulldog advantage.
In the sixth inning, freshman Tyler Armisead and Emanuel beat out back-to-back bunts and advanced to second and third on a Milz sacrifice. After an Alyssa DiCarlo walk, sophomore Alysen Febrey singled off the center field wall to send both Emanuel and Armistead home. With the 7-0 lead and DiCarlo and Febrey on first and second, O’Neal unleashed another homerun over the left field wall to end the game in six innings at 10-0.
Georgia returns to action on Saturday in the Red & Black Classic, taking on Samford at 1 p.m. and Evansville at 3:30 p.m. at Jack Turner Stadium. Admission is free.