The sixth-seeded Georgia Bulldogs softball team (48-11) will begin play in the 2010 Women’s College World Series against third-seeded Washington tonight on ESPN2. The Huskies, who arrive in Oklahoma City sporting a 50-7 ledger, are the defending national champions, having beaten the Red and Black twice in the Bulldogs’ initial WCWS appearance last year.
The Georgia lineup hits for power, having belted 95 home runs as a squad. Alisa Goler (15), Brianna Hesson (13), Ashley Razey (13), Taylor Schlopy (11), and Megan Wiggins (15) all have reached double digits in round-trippers for the year. The Bulldogs’ cumulative .325 batting average ranks second in the conference.
Super regional losses by No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Michigan left Washington as the highest-seeded team remaining in the NCAA tournament. The Huskies will look to counter the Bulldogs’ bats with a pitching staff that boasts a combined 1.71 ERA, the second-lowest in the Pac-10. The 81 earned runs conceded by Washington are the fewest allowed by any team in the league.
The Husky ace is Danielle Lawrie, whose 40 appearances have produced 35 wins, as many saves as losses (two apiece), an 0.99 earned run average, and a ratio of 407 strikeouts to 33 walks, which either is a typographical error on the Pac-10 stat page or just plain ain’t fair.
As I noted previously, the Pac-10 and the SEC are the country’s premiere leagues for intercollegiate softball. The reality of the two conferences’ stature in the sport is confirmed by the fact that three of today’s four matchups pit them against each other. Three straight wins over representatives from the Pacific Coast league would be a remarkable achievement for the Red and Black.