After conceding an early lead to the visitors from Tennessee, the top-ranked Georgia softball team held the Mocs scoreless for the final four frames to set up a dramatic victory in the seventh inning.
Morgan Montemayor surrendered a leadoff single and a follow-up walk to start the second stanza, and her subsequent two-out throwing error allowed a pair of unearned runs to cross home plate. When the Georgia starting pitcher gave up a home run with one out away in the third inning, Montemayor was removed from the circle and replaced by Alison Owen, who secured a pair of flyouts to bring the Bulldogs to the plate and get the comeback underway.
Left fielder Megan Wiggins drove a one-out double to left field, then shortstop Alisa Goler walked. An illegal pitch brought a run home to put the Athenians on the board. Pinch hitter Julia Echols plated another run with a two-out solo shot in the home half of the fourth frame, and, two scoreless innings later, Echols came back up to bat as the designated player in the bottom of the seventh stanza and drew a leadoff walk. Second baseman Ashley Pauly sacrificed her over to second, and, after Echols was replaced on the basepaths by pinch runner Macie Couey, back-to-back doubles by center fielder Taylor Schlopy and Wiggins brought home the tying and winning runs, respectively.
Alison Owen pitched four and two-thirds frames of scoreless relief, conceding a lone hit and no walks while striking out six. Megan Wiggins collected three of the Bulldogs’ six hits, scoring one run and driving in another to provide the winning margin.
Part of being the No. 1 team in the country in any sport is finding a way to win a game you probably should have lost; the Red and Black did that today, overcoming a shaky start to card a win despite not playing their best. That, quite frankly, is the quality that has differentiated the Georgia softball team from just about every varsity athletics squad fielded by the Bulldogs on most days over the course of the last couple or three years.