After pitching a seven-inning complete-game shutout in game one of the NCAA softball super regional on Friday, Sarah McCloud threw a five-inning complete game in which she walked six yet surrendered just three hits and only one earned run. The Bulldogs eliminated the Bears in a 10-1 run-rule victory to earn a berth in the Women’s College World Series.
Georgia loaded the bases in the top of the first inning on a one-out Megan Wiggins single, an Alisa Goler walk on a payoff pitch, and a two-out plunking of Kristyn Sandberg. A wild pitch allowed the go-ahead run to score, but Cal answered in the home half of the canto. A leadoff single and a pair of one-out walks put three aboard for Jace Williams, who reached on the fielder’s choice that saw Jamia Reid put out at home. Frani Echavarria drew a base on balls on a full count to push the tying run across home plate.
It was all Bulldogs after that. A one-out walk and a pair of hit batters once again loaded the bases, and, after the Bears allowed a long foul ball to drop to prevent a run from scoring on an out, Wiggins made the Californians pay by smacking a grand slam.
Following an uneventful third stanza, Ashley Pauly led off the top of the fourth frame with a surprise bunt. Once Taylor Schlopy reached on a fielding error and Wiggins reached on a fielder’s choice that saw every runner advance safely, Goler parked a single in center field to score two. A Brianna Hesson groundout, a Sandberg single, and a throwing error brought home three more.
After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the inning, the Red and Black went quietly in the top of the fifth canto. The Bears managed to put three aboard once more with two outs away in the home half of the stanza, but a first-pitch flyout capped off the run-rule victory.
In addition to making several exceptional plays in left field, Megan Wiggins finished the two-game series having gone four for eight with six RBI and one home run.