The #25 Georgia softball team defeated both #15 Utah (5-1) and #19 BYU (13-1, six innings) on day two of the Kajikawa Classic Friday.
The Bulldogs are off to a 3-1 start to the 2018 season. Georgia not only hit the ball well but had top performances in the circle from Brittany Gray and Kylie Bass on Friday.
Georgia 5, Utah 1
A combination of masterful pitching by Gray and seventh-inning home runs lifted #25 Georgia softball past #15 Utah Friday afternoon by a score of 5-1.
Gray (2-0) pitched a complete game en route to the win. She allowed Utah’s lone run in the opening frame, following with six shutout innings. She gave up only five hits to the Utes, striking out five hitters and walking none.
At the plate, Georgia recorded nine hits, led by two-hit performances by Alysen Febrey, Ciara Bryan, and Kendall Burton. Justice Milz and Bryan each knocked two-run home runs in the seventh inning to lift the Bulldogs to the victory. Febrey was on base four times including a double.
Utah jumped out in front in the bottom of the opening frame. Breonna Castaneda led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, advanced on a fielding error, then again on a groundout. She tagged and scored on a sac fly to left by Heather Bowen to go ahead 1-0 in the first.
The Bulldogs tied the game at one in the top of the fourth with two-out production. Burton poked a two-out base hit up the middle followed by a walk to Kaylie Harding. Jordan Doggett hit a sharp grounder to first, too much to handle for the first baseman, allowing Burton to score from second, knotting the game at one run apiece.
Cortni Emanuel led off the top of the seventh with a bunt for a hit. Milz stepped in and blasted her first home run of the season, second of her career, to dead center field, putting the Dawgs on top, 3-1. After Febrey was hit by a pitch with one out, Bryan launched her first career home run to center, widening the new Bulldog lead to 5-1.
Gray worked the final three outs in the seventh, securing the complete-game victory.
Georgia 13, BYU 1 (six innings)
In the nightcap, the Bulldogs used two monster innings to break the game open late en route to the sweep of the day.
Kylie Bass (1-0) earned the win in relief Friday evening, working four and two-thirds shutout innings. She allowed only three hits and recorded a new career-best 12 strikeouts.
At the plate, Milz finished the game 4-for-4 with two doubles and was on base a total of five times. DiCarlo and Febrey each had three hits. DiCarlo slugged two home runs while Febrey had one of her own with a double. Seven total Bulldogs recorded a hit, combining for 17 on the night.
The Cougars drew a pair of walks in the bottom of the second, leading to a 1-0 lead. With runners on the corners, Caitlyn Aldredge singled into left, plating the go-ahead run. Bass entered and struck out both batters she faced to end the frame and halting the early BYU scoring threat.
Milz picked up her second hit of the game, this time a double to lead off the third inning. She came around to tie the game on a one-out ground-rule double by Febrey. Mahlena O’Neal got a base hit to fall in shallow right for runners on the corners. Bryan followed with a shallow single in right of her own to score Febrey and go ahead 2-1.
The Bulldogs broke it open in the fourth inning. Emanuel and Milz each drew one-out walks. Milz saw 12 pitches in her at-bat to draw the walk. DiCarlo stepped in and launched a three-run home run to straight-away center field. Febrey immediately followed with a homer of her own, 6-1 Bulldogs.
DiCarlo belted her second home run of the game, this time a two-run homer in the top of the sixth. A throwing error on a double by O’Neal, allowed Febrey to score. After Bryan drew a walk, Burton blasted a jack to center, her second of the weekend. Three-straight base hits by Emanuel, Milz, and DiCarlo pushed two more across in the inning to make it a seven-run frame, lengthening the lead to 13-1.
Bass struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth to notch a new career high and secure the win for Georgia.
The Bulldogs wrap up Kajikawa Classic play Saturday evening against Oregon State. The game will be played at 7 p.m., ET, at Farrington Stadium and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.