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    SEC Softball Today: March 9

    Softball RESULTS
    Northwestern 3, South Carolina 1
    South Carolina 4, Villanova 1
    Georgia 8, Kent State 1
    Auburn 5, Florida 4
    Kentucky 5, Ole Miss 2 
    Tennessee 2, Alabama 1 
    Texas A&M 11, Missouri 3
    Georgia 13,  Western Illinois 3
    Mississippi State 2, LSU 1 
    Arkansas 5, Utah Valley 0


    Gamecocks Get by Villanova, 4-1
    CLEARWATER, Fla. – South Carolina (14-5) used doubles by Chelsea Hawkins and Julie Sarratt to help the Gamecocks get past Villanova (6-7) 4-1 in Saturday’s second game in the USF Under Armor Showcase at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
    The junior right fielder Hawkins had an RBI double and scored a run, while Sarratt went 2-for-3 with the double and two RBI. Junior second baseman Dana Hathorn also scored twice in the win for the Gamecocks. All three were a part of the 2010 signing class for South Carolina.
    Hawkins’ hustle double in the fourth broke a scoreless tie, scoring Hathorn after she started the inning with a single and moved to third on freshman Ansley Ard’s hit. Hawkins scored on the next play when Sarratt reached on an error. Villanova cut the lead in half on Amanda Marquez’s RBI single in the sixth, scoring Ali Lowe.
    South Carolina added some insurance in the sixth on the redshirt sophomore Sarratt’s two-RBI single, scoring Hathorn and Ard after the former started the frame by being hit by a pitch and Ard followed with an RBI single.
    Sophomore pitcher Katelynn Howser (3-0) got the win, giving up one earned run on three hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. Sarratt came on to close out the win with a perfect 1.1 innings, picking up her first save of the year. Kaity Sitzman took the loss, allowing four runs, three earned on seven hits in six innings. She fanned two without walking anyone. For South Carolina, it’s the team’s first win in 2013 when scoring less than seven runs.
    Gamecocks Drop a 3-1 Decision in Extra Innings to Northwestern
    CLEARWATER, Fla. – A leadoff homer in the ninth propelled Northwestern (13-9) to a 3-1 win over South Carolina (13-5) in the first game of Saturday’s action at the USF Under Armour Showcase at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
    The teams both stranded a runner in the eighth inning with the international tiebreak rule in effect. The ninth, however, saw Marisa Bast drive the first pitch of the frame out to left, scoring the runner Mari Majam as well and handing the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.
    Northwestern took a 1-0 lead in the second when pitcher Amy Letourneau hit the first pitch of the inning out to center. The score stayed that way until senior catcher Shelby Gonzales drove a 1-1 pitch in the fifth over the left-field wall, tying the game at 1. For Gonzales, it was her second homer of the year.
    The Gamecocks stranded two runners in both the seventh and the ninth. With one down in the seventh, senior shortstop Samie Garcia and freshman left fielder Alaynie Page drew walks, but Letourneau got a fly out to shallow center and a strikeout to force extra innings. In the ninth, junior Brooke Barnhill ran at second to start the inning, and sophomore Olivia Lawrence drew a walk with one down. But Letourneau induced a fly ball before getting her 14th strikeout of the game to end it.
    Letourneau (8-5) tossed 198 pitches in the complete-game win, walking six and giving up four hits. Gamecock freshman Katie Marks (4-2) took the loss, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits without a walk. She struck out a career-high nine.
    Page had a double for South Carolina, the only other extra-base hit besides Gonzales’ homer. Garcia walked twice, one of five Gamecocks to draw free passes in the game, and Garcia also stole two bases as well as junior third baseman Codee Yeske. Letourneau went 2-for-4 with the homer and a double, while Kristen Scharkey went 2-for-2 with a stolen base for Northwestern.


    Auburn Rallies To Win Over Florida

    Auburn, Ala. --  McKenzie Kilpatrick’s leadoff home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning broke a tie game and lifted the Auburn softball team to a 5-4 win over No. 4 Florida Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field.  
    Auburn improved to 18-6 overall, 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida dropped to 24-2 overall and 1-1 in the SEC. The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. 
    “I’m really proud of this team’s resiliency and the fight they showed today,” Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. “After last night’s game they could have easily folded today, but they came out aggressive and playing with a purpose. We need to put this one behind us now and get ready for tomorrow’s game.”
    The win marked Auburn’s first over a ranked SEC team at Jane B. Moore Field since a 3-2 win over No. 4 Georgia on May 1, 2011. 
    Marcy Harper improved to 8-2 with a complete-game victory. Harper allowed four runs, all earned, on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in seven innings of work. 
    Hannah Rogers took the loss in relief to fall to 12-2. Rogers allowed one run, earned, on one hit with no walks and two strikeouts in two innings. Lauren Haeger started and went four innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. 
    The Gators plated a run in the top of the first inning without benefit of a hit. Kelsey Stewart drew a leadoff walk and moved to second when Kirsti Merritt was hit by a pitch. After a pop up for the first out, Stewart stole third. With runners on the corners, Merritt broke for second but was chased back to first by Kelsey Bogaards after the throw down from catcher McKenzie Kilpatrick. Stewart broke for home on the play and scored easily to make it 1-0 Florida. 
    Auburn tied the game in the bottom of the first inning. Tiffany Howard reached on a fielder’s choice and Branndi Melero singled to put runners at second and first with one out. After Haeger fanned Brooke Lathan for the second out, Emily Carosone laced a double to center to score Howard and even the score at 1-1. 
    Florida regained the lead in the top of the third inning. Stewart singled with one out and took second on a two-out walk to Haeger. On a 2-2 pitch, Briana Little ripped a three-run home run over the scoreboard to give the Gators a 4-1 lead. It was Little’s fifth home run of the season and the third Florida home run of the series. 
    The Tigers cut the Florida lead in half with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Carosone drew a one-out walk and took second on a wild pitch. An errant throw from catcher Aubree Munro moved Carosone to third with two outs. Caitlin Jordan followed with a walk. Kilpatrick then took an 0-2 pitch back up the middle to score Carosone and cut the deficit to 4-2. With Kristyn Richards running for Jordan, a wild pitch moved her to third and Kilpatrick to second. The Gators were able to end the rally when left fielder Little made a diving catch in foul territory on a ball hit by Bogaards. 
    Auburn picked up in the bottom of the fifth where it left off in the bottom of the fourth. Estell led off with a single and moved to third on a double to left by Howard. Melero followed with a single through the right side to plate Estell and make it a 4-3 game. Rogers relieved Haeger and gave up a sacrifice fly from Lathan which scored Howard to tie the game at 4-4. Melero took second on the play to move into scoring position. 
    On a 2-2 count, Rogers hit Carosone to put runners at second and first with one out. Caitlin Schultze then hit into a fielder’s choice which forced Melero out a third. Rogers then ended the Auburn rally with a called third strike on Jordan on a 3-2 pitch. 
    On the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth, Kilpatrick gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead with a solo home run over the wall in left. It was Kilpatrick’s second home run of the season and third of her career. 
    In the top of the seventh, Harper retired pinch-hitter Ensley Gammel on fly ball to right for the first out of the inning. The Gators put the tying run on base when Stewart drew a five-pitch walk. The Tigers picked up the second out when Merritt hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Stewart out at second base. Haeger came to the plate with a team-best seven home runs and the tying run at first base. Merritt moved into scoring position on a passed ball on a 2-2 pitch to Haeger. But Harper slammed the door on a potential rally when she forced Haeger to fly out to Melero in right for the final out.  


    Clutch Hitting, Nunley’s Relief Effort Leads UK to First Win in New Stadium
    LEXINGTON, Ky. – True freshman utility player Maisie Steed started the game with her fourth home run of the year, while true freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley finished the game with four hitless innings in relief as the No. 15 University of Kentucky softball team claimed a 5-2 win Saturday to even its weekend series with Ole Miss at a game apiece. The win for Kentucky (17-4, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) is its first ever in the new UK Softball Complex. 
    The series will conclude with the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at the UK Softball Complex. Ole Miss took game one Friday night 3-1. Admission to the game is free of charge. Live stats and live video (subscription required) will be available on 
    After a slow offensive night in game one, Kentucky responded on Saturday with seven hits and five runs, including four two-out RBI. Steed got the Wildcats out of the gate fast with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first inning, her fourth homer of the season. The roundtripper got UK going offensively as UK would score four more runs over the next three innings to take a comfortable lead.
    Senior infielder Kara Dill was the lone Wildcats to record a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Junior outfielder Emily Gaines got the clutch hitting started with a two-RBI single in the third inning, finishing 1-for-2. Senior outfielder Alice O’Brien went 1-for-3 in the game with a run scored and an RBI double, while sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner continued her impressive start to the season with a 1-for-3 game, including an RBI single. 
    Ole Miss (17-10, 1-1 SEC) plated two runs in the top of the third inning off of UK starting pitcher Lauren Cumbess, who went three innings, allowing two runs – both earned – with one strikeout. Nunley came on in relief in the fourth inning, throwing four hitless innings to end the game, striking out two Ole Miss batters. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., only allow two of the 13 batters she faced to reach base – both by walks, retiring the first seven batters she faced. Nunley, who earned the win to move to 11-1, has a 2.13 ERA on the year with a team-high 64 strikeouts. 
    The Rebels got both of their runs on the two-out, two-RBI single by first baseman Londen Ladner, who finished the game 1-for-2. Ole Miss centerfielder RT Cantillo was the only other Rebel to earn a hit, going 1-for-3 with a run scored. 
    Ole Miss started junior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter, who went 2.2 innings, allowing three runs – all earned – on three hits before senior Erinn Jayjohn went three innings, allowing two runs – both earned – on four hits. Freshman Madi Osias earned the final out of the game after giving up a walk to the first batter she saw. 
    After Steed starting the scoring with her homer in the first inning, Ole Miss fought back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning on the two-RBI single by Ladner. The inning started with a walk to Haley Culley, who advanced to second on the single by Cantillo. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, Allison Brown grounded out to third, setting the stage for Ladner, who singled on the first pitch she saw to leftfield, scoring both runners. 
    UK answered back with two runs in each of the next two innings. The bottom of the third inning started with Dill singling to leftfield, later advancing to second on a stolen base. After Cumbess and freshman Nikki Sagermann walked to load the bases, Gaines singled to leftfield, scoring two runs and giving UK the 3-2 lead.
    The Wildcats added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. After second baseman Christian Stokes singled to start the inning, Steed placed a perfect sacrifice bunt to the left side to advance a runner in scoring position. Dill also laid down a sacrifice bunt for the second out, moving Stokes to third, who later scored on the double to rightfield by O’Brien. Joiner then slammed a single through the right side of the infield to drive in O’Brien and give UK the 5-2 advantage. 



    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Rainey Gaffin's pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth proved to be the difference in Saturday's pitchers' duel between Ivy Renfroe and Leslie Jury, lifting No. 8/10 Tennessee to a 2-1 win over No. 1/2 Alabama at Lee Stadium. 
    The UT win marks the first time since 2007 that the Lady Vols have knocked off a No. 1 team in back-to-back games. 
    Tennessee (21-3, 2-0 SEC) struck first with a run in the bottom of the first but Alabama (22-3, 0-2 SEC) answered with a score in the top of the second to even the game at 1-1. The teams combined to leave 15 runners on base (seven for the Crimson Tide, eight for the Lady Vols) in an edge-of-your-seat contest where every play mattered. In the end, it was Gaffin's knock to center field that Haylie McCleney dropped after hitting the wall that proved to be the game's key play. 
    Lauren Gibson was 2-for-2 with one RBI. Kat Dotson had a pair of hits, a run scored and a stolen base. Melissa Davin scored what ended up being the game-winning run on Gaffin's hit in the sixth. 
    Ivy Renfroe (8-1) got stronger as the game progressed and finished with seven strikeouts and just one run allowed over seven solid frames for her fifth complete game of the season. 
    Jury (8-1) suffered her first loss of the season and struck out six batters with two earned runs allowed over six innings. 
    In the bottom of the first, Dotson connected for a one-out single up the middle and stole second base in the next at-bat. Gibson plated her from second with an RBI single to the outfield to give UT the 1-0 edge. 
    Alabama would not stay down for long. Danae Hays was hit by a pitch to open the third inning. Three batters later, Andrea Hawkins clubbed a single down the right field line to score Hays from second base and make it a 1-1 ballgame. 
    Tennessee left the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, missing out on an opportunity to take command of the game when Jury induced a lineout to left field with two outs. 
    Davin came up with a big leadoff single to left field to open the bottom of the sixth. Hannah Akamine's sacrifice bunt to third moved Davin into scoring position. Two batters later, Gaffin made her SEC debut as a pinch hitter. On a 2-2 count, Gaffin hammered a pitch high and to the wall in center field. McCleney drifted back to the wall to make the catch, but upon impact with the padding, she dropped the ball. The call was disputed, but the ruling on the field by the umpires that the ball was dropped stood. 
    The Lady Vols and the Crimson Tide will conclude their season series on Sunday when they play at 1:30 p.m. ET. Be sure to reset your clocks as Sunday marks the "spring forward" part of daylight savings time. 


    Four Home Runs Lift Aggies to 11-3 Run Rule of Mizzou

    COLUMBIA, Mo. – Freshman Cali Lanphear hit two home runs and junior Nicole Morgan had a grand slam as the fifth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (23-2, 1-1 SEC) run-ruled No. 5 Missouri (10-2, 1-1 SEC), 11-3 in the second game of the three-game, Southeastern Conference opening series between the two schools Saturday at University Field.

    The Aggie bats came alive in the top of the sixth inning when A&M scored eight runs on seven hits, including three home runs. One of the long balls in the sixth was Morgan’s third grand slam of the season. 
    Lanphear picked up three RBI on the game as she sent two pitches over the fence. Before today, Mizzou starter Chelsea Thomas had not given up a home run this season. 
    With two outs in the top of the second inning, Lanphear hammered a home run well over the wall in right field for the 1-0 lead. The bomb was the first of the season against Thomas. In the next at-bat, the Tiger hurler tossed a four-pitch walk to junior Amber Garza who then took second on a single to centerfield by junior Cassie Tysarczyk. Junior Taran Tyler lined a pitch down the first-base line, but a big catch by the MU right fielder ended the half-inning. 
    Missouri answered the Aggies’ offensive effort in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff home run by Mackenzie Sykes that evened the score at 1-1. 
    A&M stretched out to its second lead of the game in the top of the third. Junior Emily Albus slapped an infield single to lead off and was joined on the bags by Morgan, who sent a laser down the left-field line with one out. Junior Allison Garrett entered to run for Morgan and stole second before a throw meant to stop the double steal gave Albus time to score on the error. 
    The muffed throw sent Garrett to third before a wild pitch by Thomas allowed the pinch runner to fly home for the 3-1 lead. 
    Missouri put two on in the bottom of the third, using a single and a walk to put runners on first and second, before a pop-out ended the inning with the Aggies holding a 3-1 advantage.
    With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Missouri’s Kelsea Roth hit a solo long ball over right to narrow the deficit to 3-2 in the Aggies’ favor. Roth hit the game-winning, walk-off home run in game one against A&M.
    A two-out error, a single and a walk loaded the bases for Missouri before senior pitcher Mel Dumezich threw a full-count strikeout to end the inning with A&M in the lead. 
    Sophomore Brittany Clopton reached on an infield single over the head of the third baseman in the fifth. The speedy left fielder was caught stealing before Morgan took first on a two-out walk. The junior was left on base in the end of the half-inning.
    Lanphear’s second home run of the game came in the top of the sixth. Junior Jenna Stark led off in the frame with a standup double and was replaced at second by junior Kaydee Rayburn. With no outs, Lanphear sailed a ball over the fence in right-center field to score the pair for the 5-2 lead. 
    The offensive action didn’t stop there, as the Aggies plated eight runs in the half-inning. A fielder’s choice by Tysarczyk, a single through the left side by Tyler and a walk by Albus loaded the bags before senior Sydney Shannon reached on an error that sent Tysarczyk home for the 6-2 lead. 
    With the bases again loaded, Morgan pounded a grand slam out of the park and picked up four RBI as the Aggies soared to a 10-2 lead. A solo home run by Dumezich added insult to injury and was just what A&M needed for the eight-after-five run-rule, as Missouri scored one unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. 
    The lone sixth-inning run by the Tigers wasn’t enough and the game ended early with A&M picking up an eight-run victory in game two of the series between the two teams.  
    Dumezich improved to 16-1 on the season with the win, giving up two earned runs and striking out three while allowing seven hits and four walks. Thomas (4-1) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and three walks while fanning five. Missouri closer Nicole Hudson pitched just one inning and allowed six earned runs on five hits and a walk. 
    Missouri took the first game of the series, 2-0, on a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. That loss was just the second of the season for A&M.


    Dramatic Sixth Inning Helps MSU Defeat No. 12 LSU For First Time Since 2005
    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Knocking at the doorstep of the Southeastern Conference elite, the Mississippi State softball team kicked the door down with a thrilling 2-1 come-from-behind victory against No. 12 LSU Saturday at the MSU Softball Stadium. The win over the 2012 Women’s College World Series participant snapped a 21-game losing streak against the Tigers, giving the Bulldogs their first triumph against their SEC Western Division foe since a doubleheader sweep on March 30, 2005.
    “This is a great win for Starkville’s team,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “The crowd was packed and I could not be prouder of our fans as well as the resiliency of our players and their willingness to fight back.”
    The 2-1 win came less than 16 hours after a 14-inning classic at the Dawg Diamond, which saw the visiting team squeak out a narrow 1-0 victory in a pitchers’ duel for the ages. Saturday’s statement game improved MSU to 16-5 in 2013 (1-1 SEC), while dropping LSU to 18-5 on the year (1-1 SEC). The two rivals will square off one last time in the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. to decide which school wakes up on Monday above .500 within the ultra-competitive SEC.
    Displaying arguably the deepest pitching staff in the conference, a trio of Stuedeman’s pitchers held the Tigers to one run for the second-consecutive day. Senior southpaw Stephanie Becker drew the starting assignment, giving up LSU’s lone run on four hits in 5.0 innings of work. Fellow senior lefty Kylie Vry picked up the win in relief (2-2) after throwing a scoreless sixth with two strikeouts.
    Reining two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week and this week’s National Pitcher of the Week Alison Owen earned her SEC-leading third save of the season with a pair of strikeouts in a hitless seventh frame.
    “I don’t believe we walk out victorious without all three of those pitchers today,” Stuedeman explained. “Kylie Vry received the win and there are major leaguers out there who get paid millions of dollars to throw a scoreless inning, so hats off to her.”
    LSU junior right-hander Meghan Patterson suffered the loss in the circle for the visitors, falling to 3-2 on the year after surrendering two runs on four hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. Fellow junior righty Ashley Czechner recorded the final two outs in the bottom of the sixth with one hit allowed.
    Bulldog junior Logan Foulks and senior Shelby Fisher were the heroes for the home team. Foulks finished 1-for-3 with a solo home run, while Fisher went 1-for-3 with an RBI single. Redshirt junior shortstop Erin Nesbit (2-for-3) recorded the only multiple-hit game of the 21-inning series so far in the pitching-dominated weekend.
    The two SEC heavyweights battled back and forth for four innings before LSU jumped on the scoreboard first courtesy of a suicide squeeze RBI-bunt single in the top of the fifth by center fielder A.J. Andrews.
    Down by a run heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Maroon and White dug deep inside and barked back on offense. With one out, Foulks sent an 0-1 offering screaming over the left-center field wall, tying the game at 1-1 and bringing the MSU faithful to its feet. 
    “I could not be prouder of this team coming together like they did today,” Foulks said. “It did not matter who is up at the plate for us, because we know we are all capable of getting it done.” 
    With barrels banging and cowbells clanging, junior Sam Lenahan drew her third walk of the game and her team-high 20th on the season. Pinch running for the junior slugger, freshman Kayla Winkfield swiped second on the first pitch of senior Jessica Cooley’s at-bat, and advanced to third on a strike-three swinging wild pitch that put Cooley on first.

    With runners on the corners, Fisher calmly sliced the game-winning single through the left side of the infield, knocking in Winkfield and sending the 646 fans at the Dawg Diamond into a euphoric roar of cheers and whistles.
    “I would not even have had the RBI opportunity had it not been for my teammates on base, so give them credit,” Fisher said. “Logan fired me up with her home run and our entire team responded to that nicely.”

    Arkansas shuts out Utah Valley University
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas softball team shutout the Utah Valley University Wolverines, 5-0, on Saturday at Bogle Park.
    Arkansas (18-6) notched its second shutout in as many days as Hope McLemore got her third win of the year. She went 4.1 scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out three. Kimmy Beasley came on in relief and went 2.2 innings of her own, not allowing a hit.
    “Pitching again was outstanding,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “Hope was dominant today, as Chelsea was yesterday. Once again we brought Beasley in to give them a different look. I am very pleased, we are never going to lose with a shutout.”
    At the plate it was a pair of solo-homeruns from Devon Wallace and Chloe Oprzedek that paced the Razorbacks. Oprzedek finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Arkansas was able to work UVU starter Josi Summers for 128 pitches as she gave up only two earned runs in 5.2 innings. She struck out seven and walked seven Razorbacks. 
    “We talk about being selectively aggressive,” Larabee said. “We want that pitcher to give us a good pitch to hit. We want the opposing pitcher to throw a lot of pitches. The pitchers are wearing down in the latter parts of the game.”
    Wallace picked up where she left off yesterday, belting the third pitch she saw over the rightfield wall. Her ninth homerun of the season gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead in the first. 
    Oprzedek hit a solo-shot of her own in the second. This was the junior’s fifth homerun of the year, giving Arkansas a 2-0 lead.
    McLemore continued to work through the third, striking out Amanda Robinson to end the inning. She received more run support in the bottom of the inning as Nicole Schroeder led it off with a walk. After Ashley Martindale pinch ran and stole second, she scored when Jaymee Gee reached on a two-out error. Amanda Summerford also scored on the play to make the score 4-0, Arkansas. 
    The top of the fourth started with a Wolverine single from Krystin Jachim. She was retired on a 5-4-3 double play as Dynasty Lauvai lined it at Oprzedek, she hurried the ball to Sierra Bronkey at second and then the double play was quickly turned as she fired to Wallace at first. McLemore struck out Debra Lovell to end the inning.
    UVU started the fifth inning with a single from Kylee Brinkerhoff. She advanced to third on an error from the third-baseman, Oprzedek. This left runners on second and third with one out for Morgan Summers, and ended McLemore’s day in the circle. In came the sophomore, Beasley, and she walked Summers to load the bases for pinch-hitting Jazmyne Cortinas. Beasley got her to chase a 2-1 pitch and pop out to second. The sophomore pitcher then struck out Robinson to end the inning and work out of the jam.
    Oprzedek added to the lead in the sixth as she hit a one-out single through the right side of the infield. She would eventually score on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly from Lauren Montgomery. This was the freshman’s fourth pinch-hit RBI of the season.
    Beasley notched her third save of the season as she worked a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. This gave Arkansas its 18th win of the season and second shutout in as many days.


    Georgia Flexes Muscle in Twinbill Sweep
    ROCK HILL, S.C. – The No. 24 University of Georgia softball team picked up a pair wins over Kent State and Western Illinois on Saturday, March 9, at the Winthrop/adidas Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. Georgia powered its way to an 8-1 win over Kent State before defeating Western Illinois 13-3 in six innings.
    With the wins, Georgia improves to 16-7 on the year and is now 4-0 in the tournament. In today’s games, Bulldog pitchers held their opponents to a .089 batting average, while the offense 21 runs on 22 hits and hit at a .407 clip.
    Georgia 8, Kent State 1

    The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Kent State. Anna Swafford, who went 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored, was hit by a pitch to lead things off for the Bulldogs. She came around to score when Paige Wilson singled to left. With two on, Tess Sito reached on an error, allowing pinch runner Maya Branch to score the third run of the inning.
    Georgia added a run in the bottom of the second when Swafford singled through the left side, allowing Samantha LaZear, who reached on a single, to cross the plate.
    Georgia got two runs on two hits in the bottom of the third to extend its lead to 6-0. Kaylee Puailoa drew a one-out walk and scored on a double to right center off the bat of Sito. Christine Olney followed with a double of her own that drove Sito in and gave Georgia its 6-0 lead.
    Kent State got one run back in the top of the fourth when Shelbi Tilton reached on a fielder’s choice that drove in Kim Kirkpatrick and made it a 6-1 game.
    Georgia answered with a run in the bottom of the frame, when Swafford hit her third home run of the weekend to lead off the Georgia fourth.
    The final Bulldog run came in the bottom of the sixth. Swafford led off with a bunt single and moved around the bases on a single and a stolen base. With one away, Wilson stole second, allowing Swafford to score on the throw.
    Geri Ann Glasco improved to 9-1 on the season in the complete-game, one hitter. She allowed one run on one hit and struck out seven. Emma Johnson took the loss to fall to 4-5 on the year. Johnson gave up four runs, two of which were earned, on three hits and two walks in two innings of work.
    Georgia 13, Western Illinois 3

    For the fourth game this weekend, Georgia scored in the first inning on its way to a 13-3, six-inning win over Western Illinois. With one out, Wilson and Glasco hit back-to-back singles that put runners aboard for Tina Iosefa. Iosefa then delivered a three-run home run over the center field wall that put Georgia up 3-0 in the first.
    The Leathernecks answered in the bottom of the second when Monica Rondon led off the frame with a solo home run to right that cut the lead to 3-1. Western Illinois looked to add to its lead, loading the bases with no outs, but Chelsea Wilkinson settled in and got the final three batters outs, including a strikeout to end the inning.
    The Bulldogs put up two in the top of the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. Iosefa led off with a walk, putting a runner aboard for Sito, who tripled to right field and extended the Bulldog lead to 4-1. She scored during the next at bat when Olney singled up the middle for the fifth run of the game.
    Western Illinois got a run back in the bottom of the fourth when Teagan Walsh homered to right field. Wilkinson retired the next three batters in order to end the inning.
    Georgia got two runs on three hits in the top of the fifth to take a 7-2 lead. Wilson recorded her second home run of the weekend with a one-out solo shot to center. After a Glasco walk, Iosefa doubled to right to drive in the second run of the inning and make it a 7-2 game.
    The Leathernecks scored a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Georgia error that made it a 7-3 game. Georgia then put up six runs in the top of the sixth to take a 13-3 lead. Katie Browne led things off with a single through the right side. A walk and a fielding error loaded the bases for Glasco, who hit a two-run single to right to make a 9-3 game. With runners at first and third, Iosefa belted her second three-run home run of the day to give Georgia a 12-3 lead. Puailoa followed with a solo home run of her own, the 15th round-tripper of the weekend for Georgia, that extended Georgia’s lead to 13-3. Western Illinois went three up, three down in the bottom of the frame to seal the Georgia win.
    Wilkinson got the win for the Bulldogs to improve to 2-1 on the season. She allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits and four walks while striking out three in 4.1 innings of work. Morgan Montemayor also saw time in the circle for the Bulldogs, throwing 1.2 perfect innings of relief.