On Wednesday, the eighth-ranked Georgia softball team hosted Longwood for a season-ending doubleheader prior to beginning SEC Tournament play in Oxford on Thursday. The Bulldogs split the two-game set, claiming a run-rule victory in the opener yet letting the second one get away from them.
Following a pair of scoreless stanzas in the morning outing, left fielder Megan Wiggins put the home team on the board with a two-out first-pitch solo home run to right field in the bottom of the third inning. The Lancers got a baserunner as far as third base in the fourth frame and put two aboard with no one out in the fifth, but they could not push the tying run across home plate.
In the bottom of the latter canto, the Bulldogs broke the game open, beginning with a leadoff single from right fielder Laura Trout. Second baseman Ashley Pauly sacrificed her over with a bunt but reached on a fielding error before center fielder Taylor Schlopy loaded the bases with a single. Shortstop Alisa Goler drove in three with a double to center field, and, when first baseman Brianna Hesson reached on a fielding error, another unearned run scored. Third baseman Kristyn Sandberg and designated player Brittney Hubbard brought home two more with doubles, enabling another Trout single and another Longwood fielding error to plate the run that invoked the mercy rule.
Georgia wasted no time taking the lead in the twin bill’s afternoon engagement, as Wiggins led off the bottom of the first frame with a home run, and the combination of a fielding error, a base hit, and a sacrifice fly added an unearned run to the tally. With two outs against them in the fifth inning, the Athenians got two aboard with back-to-back singles, allowing Hesson to push three runs across with a home run to left field.
The Lancers answered in the top of the sixth stanza, using three singles and a double to produce a pair of runs. In the ensuing inning, Longwood put together a four-hit, one-error canto featuring an RBI single, an RBI double, and a three-run homer to give the visitors a 7-5 lead heading into the Bulldogs’ final turn at the plate. The Athenians went three up and three down to split the series.
By surrendering seven runs in the late innings after shutting out the Lancers for ten straight frames, the Bulldogs ended the regular season with a thud, but the Georgia softball squad nevertheless concluded a 45-11 campaign heading into SEC tourney play, for which the comment thread will open here at 3:45 tomorrow afternoon.