#7 Georgia (27-2, 5-1 SEC) at #21/23 Mississippi State (26-4, 2-1 SEC)
Dates: Mar. 23-25, 2018
Times: 7/3/3 p.m., EDT
Location: Starkville, Miss.
Stadium: Nusz Park
Streaming Video: SEC Network+
Play-by-play: Anthony Crave
Analysis: Caroline Seitz
Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com
Twitter Updates: @UGAsoftball
#7 Georgia takes to the road for its first road series of the season at #21/23 Mississippi State. The three-game Southeastern Conference series begins Friday at 7 p.m., EDT. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Follow the Bulldogs
» This weekend’s series will be streamed to the SEC Network+. Anthony Crave will provide play-by-play while Caroline Seitz will provide analysis.
» Live stats will be available. Live stat links can be found on the softball schedule at GeorgiaDogs.com.
» Live Twitter updates will be available all season long at @UGAsoftball.
Georgia Softball Notebook
Georgia leads 30-26
» In Starkville, the all-time series is even at 12-12
» Georgia dropped two of three in Athens a season ago
» In 2015, Georgia took the first two games of the series but fell in game three in nine innings.
A Look Back
Georgia won its conference series against #2 Florida over the weekend. The Bulldogs came out swinging in game one, hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs in the top of the first off Kelly Barnhill. Alyssa DiCarlo walked it off with a two-run home run in the seventh to win the series opener. In game two, the Bulldog bats were hot while Brittany Gray was on point in the circle as Georgia run-ruled Florida in five innings, 11-1. The win captured the series win over Florida and tied the all-time win streak record of 25 games. The last time Georgia won a series against Florida was 2011. Florida avoided the sweep with a 5-1 win in the finale. In Wednesday’s midweek game, the Bulldogs scored in every inning en route to a 10-3 win over in-state foe Georgia Southern.
A Look Ahead
The Bulldogs will return home for a midweek matchup with Kennesaw State Wednesday at 6 p.m. Wednesday’s game will feature $1 hot dogs at the concession stands. Georgia will then travel to #2 Tennessee for a Saturday-Monday conference series over Easter weekend.
Georgia in the Top 25
The Bulldogs continued climbing to #7 in the week six USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, nabbing a first-place vote. Georgia also came in at #7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll.
Georgia’s rankings this season:
Week 1: 17
Week 2: 14
Week 3: 14
Week 4: 11
Week 5: 10/12
Week 6: 7
Despite finishing last in the SEC a season ago with a 6-18 record, the Bulldogs dropped out of the NFCA Poll only one week. It was the first time Georgia had been outside the top 25 since 2013.
A Run for the Ages
Georgia softball’s 25-game win streak tied the all-time record. The streak ran from Feb. 9 to Mar. 17. The Bulldogs tied the record from May 6, 2001-Mar. 3, 2002 of the same mark. Georgia opened the 2002 season 24-0.
DiCarlo Named ESPNW Player of the Week
DiCarlo led the team with four home runs last week, driving in nine total runs. She hit two home runs in the series opener against #2 Florida including a two-run walk-off in the bottom of the seventh. She finished the weekend against the Gators with four extra-base hits, recording 14 bases while hitting .400 with a 1.400 slugging percentage.
DiCarlo is the first Georgia softball student-athlete to earn the award from ESPNW. She becomes the first national player of the week from Georgia since Chelsea Wilkinson earned NFCA honors on May 13, 2014.
Dawg Nation, This Is You
Georgia softball set a new attendance record twice against #2 Florida. The record was broken during game two when 2,011 were on hand. The record was topped the next day as 2,457 faithful packed the stadium to capacity.
There’s No Place Like The Jack
Georgia has played 24 games at Jack Turner Stadium this season, winning 23 of said contests. The Bulldogs have nearly topped their home winning total from the past three seasons (24, 2017; 23, 2016; 26, 2015). Georgia is .783 at home with 559 wins.
Solid in the Circle
The Georgia pitching staff has been sharp this season, recording a 0.90 ERA through 29 games and 187 innings. Georgia’s ERA is the second-best in the SEC and third in the nation. The staff has struck out 236 opposing hitters, allowing only 24 earned runs and putting 16 shutouts in the books.
Brittany Gray has the best ERA in the country at 0.19. She did not allow and earned run until her 14th appearance this season. She has allowed just 2.97 hits per seven innings pitched, ranking sixth in NCAA.
A Power-Packed Offense
At the plate, Georgia leads the SEC in five offensive categories including batting average (.373), slugging (.621), runs scored (221), RBI (198), home runs (42), and total bases (418).
In the country, Georgia’s team batting average ranks second to UCLA. The Bulldogs rank second in the NCAA in slugging while coming in fourth in on base pct. and in second scoring (7.76 runs/game).
It Begins at the Top
The top of Georgia’s lineup features three hitters batting north of .400 through 29 games with the fourth hitting a few ticks under. The first inning is the second-highest run producing inning for Georgia, scoring 44 runs in the opening stanza. The Bulldogs have scored in the first 17 times, winning all 17 of said games.
The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 221-36 in 29 games this season. Nationally, Georgia ranks second in scoring with 7.62 runs per game. Georgia’s .373 batting average is second-best in the NCAA.
Individually, Cortni Emanuel has scored as many runs as Georgia’s opponents combined (36). She ranks fifth in the nation with 1.24 runs scored per game while Alyssa DiCarlo (1.45) ranks 19th.
The Iron Woman
Senior pitcher Brittany Gray has worked a team-leading 73 innings in the circle, 40.5% of Georgia’s innings. Through 73 innings, she has allowed just two earned runs. She is a perfect 13-0, shutting out six opponents in seven complete games. She has also struck out 110 batters. Her 2.97 hits allowed per seven innings ranks sixth nationally while her 10.5 strikeouts per seven innings comes in at eighth.
Her 471 strikeouts ranks sixth all-time at Georgia.
Senior Cortni Emanuel tied a Georgia record with five stolen bases against Charleston, Feb. 24. Her mark tied Kellie Middleton’s record vs. McNeese State on Feb. 11, 2007. Emanuel swiped 12 total bags in four games of the Georgia Classic. Now in her fourth season, she has 150 stolen bases, a figure that ranks second all-time at Georgia. Her 1.0 stolen bases per game this season ranks second in the country.
No Runs For You!
The pitching staff has recorded 16 total shutouts this season. The Bulldogs recorded six-consecutive shutouts from Feb. 17-24, tying a program record set twice, first in 2003 then again in 2016.
Over the Edge
Georgia has hit 42 home runs in 29 games in 2018. In 2017, Georgia had 28 in 58 games. Georgia’s 1.45 home runs per game average ranks third all of NCAA DI softball teams.
In the series opener against Florida, Mar. 16, Georgia hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning. It was the first time Georgia had hit three-straight home runs since Mar. 17, 2013 (vs. Auburn) and the three home runs in an inning since Mar. 7, 2015 (at Mississippi State).
Bulldog pitchers have allowed only six home runs this season. Three hitters have hit more home runs than opponents (DiCarlo, Febrey, Milz).