Happy Pentecost! As my fellow members of the Dawg Sports staff are aware, I am out of pocket this week, so my posting will be spotty, but, because it wouldn’t be a Sunday in Bulldog Nation without my weekly summary of the sports remaining in season that do not otherwise receive individual attention, I thought I’d take the time to prepare a weekend rundown with atypical concision; viz.:
The Georgia runners, jumpers, and hurlers were in action in Jacksonville, Fla., for the preliminary heats to qualify for the upcoming NCAA Outdoor Championships. A dozen individual Athenians made the grade, as Hilenn James (shot put), Burke McCarty (discus), and Allison Updike (javelin) advanced to the finals on Thursday, while Friday saw Saniel Atkinson-Grier (high jump), Matt Cleaver (3,000-meter steeplechase), Aaron Evans (800-meter dash), Torrin Lawrence (400-meter dash), Morgann Leleux (pole vault), Megan Malasarte (800-meter dash), and Justin Welch (hammer throw) all qualify, as well. The weekend concluded with Nikola Lomnicka (hammer throw), Caleb Whitener (shot put), and the men’s 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams also earning spots at the NCAAs, which begin in Des Moines on June 6.
Given last year’s personnel losses, it wasn’t expected that the Georgia women’s softball team would even make it as far as an NCAA super regional, so it was an honor just to be nominated, but that didn’t make it any less agonizing when the Red and Black fell just short of a Women’s College World Series berth.
On Saturday, Georgia lost the first game of the Knoxville Super Regional, 3-2, in a game in which the Bulldogs tied host Tennessee at six hits per side. The Athenians evened the series with a 1-0 win on Sunday, forcing a decisive game three on the strength of Erin Arevalo’s complete-game two-hitter. Unfortunately, in the rubber match, the Lady Volunteers snapped a 14-frame scoreless streak to claim the series’ third-straight one-run verdict. Though the season ended in disappointing fashion, this year’s batch of Bulldog ladies overachieved by getting as close to Oklahoma City as they did, so, while the super regional setback was wrenching, the season as a whole must be counted a success.