Let's get right to it.
Georgia completed its second SEC sweep of the season this weekend, handing Ole Miss a trio of losses. Friday, UGA's Geri Ann Glesco pitched four hitless innings, during which Georgia drove in three runs. In the first, Paige Wilson hit a two-run homer, and in the third, Glesco and Tess Sito each hit solo home runs followed by Katie Browne's RBI single to make it 5-0. After a couple of scoreless innings, including Chelsea Wilkinson's stepping into the circle in relief for the Dawgs, Anna Swafford scored on a sac fly by Glesco in the sixth for our final 6-0 score.
Due to expected bad weather, the last two games of the series were played in a Saturday doubleheader. Glasco again had the start for Georgia but ceded five runs from six hits. I had this game open in my browser and saw that it was 4-0, Ole Miss, in the top of the first. I glanced away to do something else, and when I looked up, it was 9-4, Georgia, in the top of the second. I think my exact words were "LoleMiss". The Bulldogs had gradually chipped away at Ole Miss's lead by tapping in runs, assisted by a walk and a batter hit by a pitch, and Swafford cleared the bases with a triple. Glasco helped her own cause with an RBI single. Georgia scored five more in the final three frames of the shortened game, including Glasco's tenth home run of the season, and Ole Miss could only get one run back. Final: UGA, 14-5.
Saturday evening, Wilkinson got the start for Georgia and allowed four runs on five hits after three hitless innings, but those were the only runs of the game for the Rebels. The Dawgs, on the other hand, scored two in the first off a pair of solo homers by Glasco and Tino Iosefa (last week's SEC Freshman of the Week). With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Georgia piled on five runs, including a Browne solo homer and a 3-RBI homer from Iosefa, and the Dawgs reclaimed the lead, 7-2. Ole Miss cut it to 7-4 in the sixth with a pair of home runs, but couldn't manage any more, and the Dawgs plated five more in the final frame, all with two outs, for the 12-4 final score.
For her fine work, Glasco was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week, the SEC Freshman Softball Player of the Week, and the College Sports Madness National Player of the Week. No. 23/24 Georgia (25-7, 6-0 SEC) hosts Georgia Southern Wednesday night at 6:00 and heads to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks. Georgia's is the only perfect SEC record in the conference.
Speaking of perfect, the Diamond Dogs also remain perfect in SEC play -- perfectly winless -- after another sweep, this time at the hands of visiting Bama. I almost got hopeful when Georgia manufactured a 1-0 lead on three singles and held it through the third, but the Tide took a 2-1 lead in the fourth, thanks in part to a Jared Walsh fielding error. Bama scored four more in the next two innings to extend their lead to 6-1 and held UGA scoreless until the eighth, when doubles by Cody Sheedy and Kyle Farmer helped the Dawgs score two, but the rally ended with three Georgia baserunners stranded, and the score remained 6-3 through the ninth.
Saturday, Georgia again took an early 1-0 lead, this time in the bottom of the second when the Dawgs loaded the bases for the second time in as many innings and J.T. Phillips scored on a Curt Powell sacrifice fly. Bama took the lead in the fourth, scoring three runs on three singles, a walk, and an error, and extended it to 6-1 thanks to three more runs in the sixth and seventh (including base advances on a passed ball and a catcher's error). Georgia tried to get a two-out rally going in the ninth and scored two with a Farmer double and a Hunter Cole single, but it wasn't enough, and Bama won, again, 6-3.
Sunday saw a third Crimson Tide win by a three-run margin, but this time it was a 3-0 shutout of the Dawgs. Georgia managed seven hits and had a couple of chances with runners at the corners in the fifth and bases loaded with two outs in the seventh, but couldn't get anybody across the plate. Coach Perno said that he's going to take a look at the lineup and maybe "jazz it up a little bit." Jazz? Is it too early for a requiem?
Georgia has a two-game series with Clemson this week: in Athens tonight (starting at 7:00 and regionally available on CSS) and at Clemson Wednesday. The SEC schedule resumes this weekend with a trip to Lexington.
Back to the good news. The women's tennis team braved the cold in Athens Friday and defeated Vandy 5-2. Georgia won the doubles point despite the first loss of the season, 8-6, by the third-ranked duo of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia. UGA clinched the 1-0 early lead with a dominating 8-1 win at 2 by Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase and a strong 8-4 finish by Lilly Kimbell and Mia King at 3. Georgia clinched the win at 4-0 with singles wins by Fuller (6-3, 6-2), Herring (6-4, 6-2), and Kowase (6-1, 7-5), before the 'Dores got on the Board with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) defeat of Makenzie Craft at six. Garcia, who may be specializing in battling back from a deficit, next won her match 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to make it 5-1 Dawgs, and King fought hard but fell in a third-set tiebreaker 5-7, 7-6 (5), 1-0 (10-5) for the final 5-2 score.
Sunday, Georgia blanked Kentucky 7-0. In doubles, Fuller/Garcia bounced back from their first and only loss Friday and won 8-0. Herring/Kowase (now 6-1) secured the 1-0 UGA lead with an 8-2 win, and Craft/Kimbell's match was unfinished. All but one of the singles matches were decided in two sets for the shutout win.
The team travels to the western edges of the conference this weekend: @ Mizzou Friday and @ No. 3 Texas A&M Sunday. The Aggies are 7-0 in SEC play, 14-1 over all. The latest rankings were released today, and Georgia remains at No. 5.
While the women were taking care of business in Athens, the men's tennis team was on the road for one of the most challenging weekends of the season. Georgia, Vandy, and Kentucky all entered the weekend with 4-1 records. In Nashville, the Commodores took the doubles point and a 1-0 lead by barely taking wins at 3 and 2: 9-8 (7-5) over KU Singh and Austin Smith and 9-8 (7-3) over Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux. Georgia took a 2-1 lead in singles with wins by Brasseaux (6-2, 6-4) and Ben Wagland (6-3, 6-2). Vandy tied it up when Singh fell at No. 1, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. Georgia clinched the 4-2 win when Pasha took court 3, 7-5, 6-0, and Smith took care of court 4, 6-3, 6-4.
By the time the Dawgs got to Lexington, Kentucky had already lost its first home match since March 2012 when it fell to Tennessee Friday, and the Dawgs were happy to make it two in a row, defeating the Wildcats 4-2. Georgia got the 1-0 lead after doubles with tough wins by Pieters/Wagland and Brasseaux/Pasha, both 8-6, but the match appeared to be up in the air well into singles. Pasha made it 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 3, but Kentucky got on the board to make it 2-1 when Singh dropped his match 6-3, 6-3. Pieters won 6-1, 6-2 to make it 3-1 Dawgs, but Kentucky wouldn't go away, as Wagland lost at No. 2, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2 . Smith came through for the Dawgs at No. 4, clinching the 4-2 win 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3.
Georgia (14-4, 6-1 SEC) rose three spots in the latest rankings to No. 3, highest of the season so far and hosts Texas A&M and LSU this weekend.
The women's golf team was in Baton Rouge this weekend for the LSU Golf Classic and finished in a tie for fifth place. The ladies travel to North Carolina this weekend for the Bryan National Collegiate. The men's team also placed fifth in their outing: the Linger Longer Invitational at Reynolds Plantation, which was cut short when a weather delay led to the players' running out of daylight. Georgia's Nicholas Reach placed second among individuals. The men are off this weekend.
Landers's Ladies advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with wins over Montana Saturday and Iowa State last night. Mr. Sanchez has your coverage of the action. UGA will be back on the court Saturday against the Stanford-Michigan winner.
The Dawgs placed fourth at the SEC Championships this weekend. Vineyarddawg has your Conference meet wrap and a look at the upcoming NCAAs, in case you missed it.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
In case you didn't hear, Georgia's women's swimming and diving team won its fifth NCAA championship this weekend. We brought you the news as quickly as we could, and I've updated that post with more details of the outstanding championship performance. The men's team will be in Indianapolist starting Thursday for the NCAA championship meet. We're not expecting a first-place finish there, but we'll be rooting for our swimmers and will bring you the results after the meet.
Until next time,