Like a pair of heavyweight champions recognized by different sanctioning organizations, the two teams vying for the right to be called the No. 1 team in college softball squared off in the final game of the Cathedral City Classic, where the Bulldogs left no doubt that they were the superior squad.
In a five-inning run-rule decision, Georgia improved to 14-1 by scoring in every canto except one, while Arizona fell to 11-2 in a three-hit shutout. The Red and Black’s Morgan Montemayor went the distance in the circle, upping her record to 6-1 in a 96-pitch gem in which she fanned eight and walked two. The Athenians got multi-hit performances from Brittney Hubbard (2 for 3, 2 RBI), Ashley Pauly (2 for 3), Ashley Razey (2 for 3, 2 RBI), Kristyn Sandberg (2 for 3), and Megan Wiggins (2 for 4, 2 RIWWB).
The Wildcats loaded the bases in the top of the first frame, but Montemayor pitched her way out of the jam to set the stage for a three-run outburst in the home half of the inning. Taylor Schlopy, who was plunked in the leadoff spot, set a new school record by being hit by a pitch for the 43rd time in her collegiate career. A pair of baserunner-advancing groundouts and an RBI single by Brianna Hesson brought her the rest of the way around, and Razey’s two-run shot to left field made it 3-0.
Wildcat errors and wild pitches allowed Bulldog baserunners to move into scoring position in subsequent stanzas, enabling the Red and Black to build up an 8-0 advantage that could have been worse: Georgia stranded seven, including two who were left on base when the game concluded. At the end of the evening, the Bulldogs had demonstrated that they are, in fact, the top team in college softball.