The academic year is coming to a close, so several Bulldog sports squads are engaged in significant conference and national competitions. Some of these clubs, such as the baseball and tennis teams, receive individual attention here, but, where comprehensive coverage is impractical, we try to keep important events from slipping through the cracks by providing brief wrapups in what we like to call the Sunday summary. Here are the short versions regarding a few contests you may not have noticed, but should not overlook:
I know I noted, supra, that the Diamond Dogs ordinarily receive individual coverage on a game-by-game basis here, which typically is the case, but, in this particular instance, I thought the Sunday summary was the place to mention that this afternoon’s rubber match between Georgia and South Carolina was canceled due to inclement weather. Honestly, this probably is to the Bulldogs’ benefit, as the Classic City Canines sit at .500 in conference play, and the two-time defending national champion Gamecocks likely would have taken the series on Sunday had the game been played. The Athenians’ chances of finishing the season with a winning record in SEC play, while still slim, improved due to the rainout. Lady Luck may seldom smile down on the Red and Black, but, today, Mother Nature probably did.
The Georgia women’s softball team claimed a 6-4 victory over Kentucky in the first round of the SEC Tournament by building up a 6-1 lead after two innings and coasting to the win on Thursday. The stars of the show were Erin Arevalo, who struck out three and conceded one run on four hits, and Kristyn Sandberg, who drove in three runs and scored two more by getting aboard through walking, being plunked, and hitting a home run.
In Friday’s semifinal, though, the Red and Black could not get the better of top-seeded Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where Georgia dropped a 1-0 decision to the Crimson Tide despite outhitting the home team, 6-3. The Bulldogs’ Paige Wilson personally produced as many hits as the entire ‘Bama lineup, but the Tide’s solo home run in the bottom of the third inning made the difference, as the Athenians’ ability to get ‘em on, and even to move ‘em over, did not translate into a capacity to bring ‘em home.
The NCAA softball tournament field will be announced at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight in a selection show televised on ESPNU. The Red and Black await their fate while sitting on a 41-15 season record.
Following an opening day that saw Cory Holman sitting in third place in the decathlon on Thursday, the SEC Outdoor Championships were highlighted on Friday by Nikola Lomnicka’s third consecutive hammer throw title. Together with Kristie Krueger’s win in the 10,000-meter run later that same day, Lomnicka’s effort helped put the Georgia women in first place after two days of competition in Baton Rouge.
Saturday’s showing included wins by Allison Updike (javelin), Morgann Leleux (pole vault), and Matt Cleaver (3,000-meter steeplechase) to leave the Bulldog ladies in first place, and the Bulldog gents in second, at the close of the day’s events. On Sunday, alas, Georgia’s only individual champion was Aaron Evans in the 800-meter run, and, as a result, the Red and Black slipped to a third-place finish for the men and a fourth-place finish for the women.
The No. 9 Georgia women’s golf team got off to a solid start at the NCAA Central Regional on Thursday, finishing the tournament’s opening round at eleven over par to end the day in sole possession of second place, just one stroke off of No. 3 Southern California’s lead. However, a second-round 318 on Friday caused the Bulldogs to plummet to eleventh place, nine shots out of fourth place and five shots in back of the eighth spot representing the cutoff for advancement to the NCAA Championships. Unfortunately, the Red and Black proved unable to make up that lost ground in Saturday’s final round, as Georgia saw its season end in a tenth-place finish. The only silver lining for the Athenians was freshman Rocio Sanchez Lobato’s top ten individual finish, which earned her a spot at the NCAA Championships beginning on May 22.