The Georgia softball team spent the weekend on the road, traveling to the so-called Loveliest Village for a three-game clash between top 25 teams. The Bulldogs notched a 6-1 win on Friday, fell 3-1 on Saturday, and came up short in a 3-2 decision on Sunday to drop the series.
The Plainswomen plated an unearned run in the bottom of the first frame on Friday, but, after that, it was all Georgia. The Red and Black tied the game with an unearned run of their own in the second stanza, then the visiting Athenians took the lead in the fifth canto when catcher Ashley Razey drove a three-run shot to left field. The Bulldogs tacked on two more in the sixth canto, enabling Alison Owen to card the win with a five-inning, five-strikeout, two-hit performance in the circle.
Starter Sarah McCloud failed to make it out of the opening inning of Saturday’s outing, conceding three hits and three unearned runs while facing six batters in the two-error canto that gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead. The host squad did not score thereafter, but, because a solo home run by left fielder Megan Wiggins in the third frame provided all the offense the Bulldogs managed to muster, Auburn escaped the second game of the series with a victory to set up a rubber match on Sunday.
A two-out walk by third baseman Alisa Goler followed by a two-run homer by right fielder Brianna Hesson staked the visitors to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning of the series-settling showdown, but the Bulldogs failed to score for the remainder of the game. The Tigers, meanwhile, scored a two-out run in the bottom of the first frame, the tying run following an error by shortstop Laura Trout in the third canto, and the winning run in the sixth stanza. Wiggins tried to snarl the score anew with two outs away in the top of the seventh inning, but she was thrown out at home after carding a triple, allowing the home team to take the series.
The back-to-back weekend losses dropped the fourth-ranked Bulldogs to 42-9 overall and 15-8 in conference play. While No. 25 Auburn fields a solid softball squad, the Athenians’ road record is a tad troubling. Since taking two from South Carolina in a March 16 doubleheader, Georgia has gone 5-6 on the road and dropped three of the last four outside of Athens. After wrapping up the regular season at home against Mississippi State on Mother’s Day weekend, the Red and Black will travel to Oxford for the SEC Tournament, beginning on May 12. Between now and then, the Bulldogs will need to figure out what it takes to win outside their own stadium.