Over the weekend, the fourth-ranked Georgia softball team swept a three-game series against Ole Miss, winning 7-3 on Friday in Lu Harris-Champer’s 1,000th game as a college head coach, claiming a 10-1 run-rule victory on Saturday, and delivering Coach Harris-Champer’s 750th career coaching victory in a 3-2 triumph on Sunday.
The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the home half of the first frame of the first game on a leadoff walk, a stolen base, a hit batsman, a single, and a sacrifice fly. Although Ole Miss tied up Friday’s series opener in the Rebs’ turn at the plate in the third canto, Georgia reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning when right fielder Brianna Hesson (2 for 3, 2 RBI) sent a payoff pitch out to left center field. The Red and Black broke the game open in the fifth stanza, as Hesson drew the walk that set up a two-run homer by catcher Ashley Razey (1 for 2, 3 RBI), first baseman Kristyn Sandberg sent the single up the middle that opened the door for two stolen bases and a sacrifice fly to plate another run, and left fielder Brittney Hubbard drew the walk and stole the base that paved the way for pinch hitter Julia Echols to bring her home with a single.
The second outing of the three-game set saw Georgia bat in four innings, scoring one, two, three, and four runs in that quartet of cantos, though not in that order. The Bulldogs used three walks, a stolen base, a double, and an RBI groundout to plate a trio of runs in the first frame before scoring another pair of runs in the second stanza with a base on balls, a stolen base, a groundout, and an RBI single, followed by a baserunner-advancing groundout and successive steals of third and home.
The Red and Black manufactured another run 90 feet at a time in the third inning when a leadoff single and consecutive groundouts put a runner on third, who was brought home with a single. The fourth canto saw the Athenians score four more with two walks, a stolen base, a single, a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly. Although starter Sarah McCloud surrendered a run in the fifth frame, her complete-game performance earned her the run-rule victory.
Having already clinched the series on Saturday, the Bulldogs went for the sweep on Sunday. The final outing of the three-game set was tied at one run per side after the first inning, and that score remained unchanged through five frames. Ole Miss took a 2-1 lead on a two-out home run by third baseman Londen Ladner in the top of the sixth stanza, but the visitors’ edge proved short-lived, as Georgia came back in the home half of the canto.
After Sandberg drew a one-out walk, Hubbard sent a two-run shot to right field to put the Athenians out in front by a 3-2 margin. That score held up through the final frame, when a one-out double by center fielder Amanda Hutcheson put the tying run in scoring position before starter Alison Owen fanned the next two Rebel batters to finish off seven innings in the circle, during which she struck out nine, walked one, and allowed one earned run on three hits.
In short, this weekend’s softball series went exactly the way it was supposed to go.