T.S. Eliot dubbed April the cruelest month, but May has its moments, as well. We college sports fans stare at our television screens in bewilderment and mutter, "The NBA and NHL playoffs are still going on?!?!" while counting down the days until football season, recognizing all the while that we are in the twilight of intercollegiate athletics of every sort as the sun sets on the springtime ere the long hot summer of the honest-to-goodness offseason descends.
Nevertheless, there are signs that there may be power in positive thinking---we’re even getting springtime player news that isn’t bad!---and there are damn good ‘Dawgs preparing to take the diamond, some of whom are performing better than others but all of whom deserve our support.
The ninth-ranked Georgia softball team, seeking its second straight Women’s College World Series appearance, will begin play against No. 15 Tennessee in the SEC tournament at 5:00 tomorrow afternoon. The fourth-seeded Bulldogs come in with a 43-10 record that edged out the 41-12 ledger compiled by the fifth-seeded Lady Vols. The Red and Black head into the single-elimination tourney led by ESPN All-District Second Team selections Kristyn Sandberg and Taylor Schlopy and SEC Softball Community Service Team member Jennie Auger.
After Tuesday evening’s triumph over hard-hitting Georgia State, David Perno’s baseball club heads into the weekend riding the momentum of a rare one-game winning streak. Georgia is 14-33 overall, is in last place in the SEC East, has been mathematically eliminated from participation in postseason play, has not won a conference series all year, and has not won a league game since April 11. Up next for the Classic City Canines are the Florida Gators, who are tied for the division lead, host the Red and Black in Gainesville, and have beaten the Athenians in every game in every sport for as far back as any of us can remember. Clearly, we have lulled them into a
false sense of security.
Through last weekend, the Sunshine State Saurians boasted the SEC’s best fielding percentage (.979) and most prolific home run hitter (Austin Maddox, 11) in conference play. The Diamond Dogs continue to have the worst batting average (.272) and the worst ERA (9.11) in league outings. If the Gators’ earned run average against SEC competition (4.44) were twice as bad as it is, Florida still would have a better ERA than Georgia.
Root hard, either way, but have faith in the softball team and have hope for the baseball team as both squads seek to represent the University of Georgia well this weekend.