Friday, May 24, 2024

Georgia softball bounced from SEC Tournament in quarterfinals

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With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the seventh, Georgia softball had an opportunity to reach the SEC semifinals. Less than 10 pitches later, the Bulldogs’ run in the SEC Tournament came to a merciful end.

A 9-4 loss against two-seed Florida gifted Georgia an early exit Friday morning at Jane B. Moore Field. The Bulldogs now await their seeding for the NCAA Tournament, which will be revealed via a selection show on Sunday.

Offensive woes plagued the Bulldogs throughout their short Tournament run. Leaving the bases loaded in the seventh emphasized those struggles. Georgia outhit Florida 9-to-8 but left six runners on base throughout the contest. The Bulldogs were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

After a strenuous 14-inning battle with Auburn Wednesday evening, Georgia’s pitching staff tired out against the Gators. Lilli Backes started in the circle and allowed two runs in four innings. After Madison Kerpics could only record an out in relief, Backes reentered the game and surrendered three runs in the remaining 1.2 innings.

The ball was flying out of Jane B. Moore Field all day, as 11 of the 13 combined runs scored came via the long ball. However, the Bulldogs, who lead the SEC in homers, were unable to take advantage.

Florida quickly got on the board in the top of the first, after a two-run home run off the bat of reigning SEC Player of the Year Skylar Wallace put Georgia in an early deficit. The Bulldogs kept the Gators at bay until Emily Digby tied the game with a two-run shot of her own in the top of the fifth..

After a four-run fifth inning gave Florida a 6-2 lead, Jayda Kearney and Sara Mosley went back-to-back to trim the Gators’ lead to two. Florida then responded with a three-run sixth inning of its own.

Trailing by five, Georgia mustered up some offense to begin the top of the seventh. A double, walk and single loaded the bases for the heart of the Bulldogs’ order. However, Georgia expanded its strike zone to record three-straight outs and end the game.

After being eliminated from the SEC Tournament, the Bulldogs now await their seeding for the NCAA Tournament. Most projections have Georgia as a lock to host a Regional, which will take place from May 16 to May 19. The bracket will be revealed Sunday at 7 p.m.

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