This report is utterly superfluous for anyone who followed NCT’s running Sunday coverage, but, since I did this for Friday’s action and I did this again for Saturday’s action, I suppose I should finish the drill and let you know that, in addition to the big news of the day, various Georgia sports teams accomplished the following on the last day of what wound up being a pretty good weekend:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Morgan Montemayor went the distance in the Georgia softball team’s five-inning run-rule shutout victory over Louisiana State before the season’s largest home crowd so far. That familiar scenario played out in the Classic City on Sunday, when Montemayor conceded only two hits and struck out ten of the 20 batters with whom she crossed paths.
The Red and Black were equally dominant at the plate, where third baseman Alisa Goler (1 of 2, 2 RBI), second baseman Ashley Pauly (2 of 2, 2 RBI), catcher Ashley Razey (2 of 3, 2 RBI), shortstop Laura Trout (1 of 2, 2 RBI), and left fielder Megan Wiggins (2 of 3, 1 RBI) paced a dozen-run effort. The Athenians built up an early five-run lead in the first frame as a result of two walks, two singles, two doubles, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch, after which a seven-run third canto was sparked by four singles, a double, a stolen base, and a sacrifice bunt, and aided by the Bayou Bengals, who added a wild pitch, a passed ball, and a pair of errors to the box score in the inning that doomed them.
The Tigers came into the series on Friday as the 21st-ranked team in the land, and they left town on Sunday following a sweep that gave the Bulldogs their 21st victory of the season. The No. 1 college softball squad in the country outscored LSU by a 26-3 margin and hit .412 as a team over the course of the three-game set.
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The Diamond Dogs got back to .500 for the first time in more games than I would care to count, completing their weekend sweep of the Dodgertown Classic in Chavez Ravine, where Georgia blanked St. Mary’s in Dodger Stadium for their fifth straight victory away from Foley Field.
Craig Gullickson was credited with the win after pitching the first five frames of the contest, carding more strikeouts (4) than he surrendered hits (3) and conceding neither an earned run nor a base on balls. The Red and Black attack was led by third baseman Curt Powell (2 for 3, 1 RBI) at the plate.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the top of the second stanza when right fielder Chase Davidson led off with a home run to center field. The Classic City Canines added another run in the ensuing inning, as outfielder Peter Verdin opened the proceedings with a double and came home on a Powell single after center fielder Conor Welton sacrificed the baserunner over to third. Georgia tacked on an insurance run in the seventh canto after Verdin again led off by getting on base. The Red and Black outfielder was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout, and came home when second baseman Levi Hyams reached on a fielder’s choice.
David Perno’s Diamond Dogs now stand at 8-8 after winning six of their last seven games. Following a midweek date with the Kennesaw St. Owls on Wednesday, the Red and Black will open conference play on the road against the defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks. For the record, Georgia’s current five-game winning streak began at a game my father, my son, my cousin, and I attended. I’m just saying.
Playing at home, the Georgia women’s tennis team ran its SEC record to 4-0 with a dominant 6-1 victory over Kentucky. Meanwhile, in Lexington, the eleventh-ranked Wildcats had the ninth-ranked Bulldog men’s tennis team on the ropes before Georgia rallied from a 3-1 deficit to claim a 4-3 victory on the strength of solid singles performances from Wil Spencer (7-6, 3-6, 7-5), Campbell Johnson (6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3), and Drake Bernstein (6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3) following a series of epic doubles duels.
After spending the first two days of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters outside the top ten, the Georgia men’s golf team carded its best round on Sunday to finish sixth in the tournament. The Red and Black male linksters’ 287 in the final round had them at one under par for the day, enabling the golfers to move up the leader board.