After being swept by No. 8 Tennessee in Wednesday’s softball doubleheader, No. 2 Georgia welcomed No. 18 Kentucky to Jack Turner Stadium for the first game of a three-game weekend set on Friday evening. The Red and Black got back on the winning track with a 6-1 victory over the visiting Wildcats.
The contest got off to a rough start as the opening inning got underway. A fielding error by shortstop Laura Trout allowed center fielder Meagan Aull to reach base, an illegal pitch by Erin Arevalo permitted the runner to advance to second, and, two outs later, a single to center field by third baseman Brittany Cervantes plated an unearned run. The Athenians answered in the bottom of the frame when center fielder Taylor Schlopy led off with a walk and third baseman Alisa Goler drove in two with a home run to right field.
Neither team produced a baserunner in the second stanza, but the Bulldogs got back on the board in the home half of the third canto when Goler led off with a solo home run. Doubles by first baseman Brianna Hesson and catcher Kristyn Sandberg tacked on the run that made the score 4-1, and, in the bottom of the fourth frame, a pair of two-out doubles by Schlopy and Hesson, coupled with an intervening walk drawn by Goler, generated two more runs.
The Wildcats managed only a trio of strikeouts in the visitors’ half of the fifth inning, while the host squad squandered another scoring opportunity by stranding a pair of baserunners in the bottom of the canto. The sixth frame saw both squads leave runners in scoring position, and Alison Owen persuaded the first two batters she faced in the seventh stanza to chase 1-2 pitches and go down swinging. A base on balls awarded to the ensuing batter brought Aull back up to the plate, and the Kentucky center fielder sent a first-pitch groundout to second base to end the contest.
Georgia outscored the Wildcats by five, and it easily could have been worse. The Red and Black out-hit the Blue and White 11-2, and, in three of the six stanzas in which the Bulldogs batted, the Georgia leadoff hitter got the proceedings underway with an extra-base hit. The offensive star of the game, obviously, was Alisa Goler, whose two-for-three night included three RBI and two home runs.
This is neither here nor there, really, but, for what it’s worth, right fielder Brittney Hubbard fouled off eleven pitches in one at-bat in the third inning.