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ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 12 University of Georgia softball team opened its three-game series with No. 2 Alabama in a big way, as the team’s seven runs in the first two innings led the team to a 7-4 victory over the Crimson Tide.
With the win, Georgia improved its season mark to 35-10 and 13-7 in the SEC while Alabama moves to 40-4 overall and 17-3 in the conference.
The Georgia bats helped the team hand Alabama’s Jackie Traina (26-1) her first loss of the season, as freshman Paige Wilson went 3-for-3 on the night, including a two-run home run at her first at-bat. In her six innings in the circle, Traina gave up six hits while striking out seven and walking three.
Senior Erin Arevalo (19-4) earned the win after allowing four runs on seven hits while putting down six batters. Sophomore Morgan Montemayor notched her first save of the season after allowing one hit in two innings of work and striking out three.
Wilson’s home run set the tone of the game in the first inning. Senior Ashley Pauly reached on an error the at-bat before to get the extra run. Senior Kristyn Sandberg then walked and advanced bases on a wild pitch and a Bama error. Senior Ashley Razey then hit a groundout to second to allow Sandberg to put the score at 3-0.
A four-run second inning increased Georgia’s lead to 7-0 over the Tide. Freshman Anna Swafford reached first on a dropped third strike before moving up two bases on a junior Tess Sito single. Pauly then laid a bunt down the third base line, as Swafford put the burners on from third to slide right in between catcher Kendall Dawson’s legs for the first run. With Sito and Pauly advancing on the throw, Wilson singled through the left side to score Sito while a loaded bases walk on Griffin three batters later scored Pauly. Freshman Gracie Goulder rounded out the inning with a RBI single to right field.
Momentum started shifting toward Alabama in the fifth after Traina put a solo shot over the center field wall. With bases loaded after two singles, a groundout and a walk, Kaila Hunt put a two-RBI single through the left side to make it a 7-3 game. The Tide then added one more run off of Amanda Locke’s single to left.
Georgia and Alabama meet again on Friday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m.