Georgia struggled at times this weekend, with a pair of teams calling an end to their season and another pair clawing for wins Sunday to keep their seasons alive.
Pictured above is softball pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson. She's kind of good. Like really, really, really good. Like what are all you baseball fools crying about on innings limits and pitch counts just give me the ball and I'll make pitch good. To give you an idea, the sophomore from Taylorsville, NC started this year's NCAA Tournament with 4 shutout innings of Chatanooga. She then went the distance in Saturday's loss to NC St, and then went the full game again striking out 14 in a 3-hitter to stay alive Saturday night against UAB. Sunday saw her go a measly 4 shutout innings before letting Geri Ann Glasco take care of the final 3 to force a decisive double header with the Wolfpack.
At that point, you might think she was wearing down. After all, she'd made 4 starts in 3 days including multiple complete games. But nope, Wilkinson took the ball again Sunday night and dusted NC St to just one walk in Georgia's first ever complete game no-hitter. A. Maze. Ing. Someone get that woman a gigantic bowl of ice cream. It doesn't matter the flavor, as it's for her shoulder. Georgia took the game 8-0, and will advance to the Super Regionals, hosting Baylor in Athens starting Friday at 2 p.m. If you can't make it over to Jack Turner Stadium off Milledge, ESPN U will be televising each of this weekend's games.
Also on a diamond in Athens, baseball made it close dropping the first two of the season's final SEC series to Kentucky before clinching their spot in Hoover Sunday. A 26-28-1 regular season (11-18-1 in SEC games) landed Scott Stricklin's squad 12th in the SEC this year. That means they almost certainly have to win this year's SEC Tournament to make the NCAAs, but it is a step in the right direction after the last few years of difficulty.
It'll be a fast turnaround though, as the 12 team, double elimination tournament has to squeeze in a lot of games. That means Georgia next plays the day after tomorrow, getting the late game Tuesday against Mississippi St. It will air on CSS for those who get it, and as for remaining games throughout the week, check your local listings to see if they're on CSS, Sportsouth, or on one of the ESPN networks. For a reminder, Georgia took their series with Mississippi St earlier in the year 2 games to 1 in Athens.
Men's golf made things a little less dramatic in San Antonio, where they led wire to wire to advance in the NCAA Championships. That means they get to make the trip to Prairie Dunes Golf Club in Hutchinson, Kansas beginning Friday. Format and opposition, as told by georgiadogs.com...
The field for the NCAAs will consist of No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 6 California, No. 8 Illinois, No. 9 Washington, No. 10 Houston, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 13 Texas, No. 14 Virginia Tech, No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 16 UAB, No. 17 LSU, No. 18 UCLA, No. 19 Oklahoma, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 21 Auburn, No. 23 Arkansas, No. 24 Florida State, No. 25 Southern California, No. 31 SMU, No. 33 Kentucky, No. 39 Kennesaw State, No. 43 Iowa State, No. 44 Oregon, No. 45 Missouri, No. 46 Georgia State and No. 51 Purdue.
Friday through Sunday will feature team stroke play, with the top eight teams after 54 holes qualifying for match play. On Monday, the top 40 individuals plus ties will complete the 72-hole tournament to determine national medalist honors. Two rounds of match play are slated for Tuesday and the championship match will take place on Wednesday.
And before we leave the links, Georgia now has 5 former golfers with wins on this season's PGA Tour, as Brendan Todd took home the trophy at the Byron Nelson this weekend.
Tennis was bad news, as the men dropped their match with North Carolina in the round of 16, and the ladies left the field at the hands of Florida Saturday ending the team portion of the career for a trio of great seniors. Matches continue in Athens with the men's semifinals this evening at 6 as Virginia faces Southern Cal, and UCLA takes on Oklahoma (with former Georgia player Bo Hodge as an assistant coach with the Sooners). The semifinals for the women begin today at 1, as the Gators take on UCLA and Stanford meets North Carolina in the other side of the bracket. The championship matches are tomorrow, the 20th, beginning at 1 p.m. for the women and 5 p.m for the men.
The season continues later this week for individuals, as junior Nathan Pasha and sophomore Austin Smith will compete for a single's title for Manny Diaz's crew, while Lauren Herring, Silvia Garcia, and Maho Kowase compete on the women's side of the singles field for Jeff Wallace. In doubles action, Ben Waglund and Hernus Pieters team up to go at it on the men's side, while the pair of Garcia and Kate Fuller represent Georgia in the women's field. Singles matches get going Wednesday, while the doubles tournament starts up on Thursday. They'll run through next week.
On the track, Georgia had a good weekend in Lexington, Ky. We told you about Elizabeth Tepe winning the hammer throw, well freshman Alex Poursanidis won it also on the men's side of the field. Fellow freshman Kendall Williams continued her standout season with an SEC title in the Heptathlon, and sophomore Maicel Uibo won his second straight decathlon at the SEC outdoors. Junior Brandon Lord won the title in the 10,000 meters. Sophomore Leontia Kallenou won the high jump at 6'3 1/2. The men finished fourth, and the women fifth at this year's SEC Outdoors, with the aforementioned 6 being our champions.
Track season continues with the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville at the end of this month, and the NCAA Outdoor Championships will be in Eugene, Oregon this year June 11th-14th. In other news around Butts-Mehre, Georgia's Sports Information/Sports Communications is again honored for being one of the best, if not the absolute best, in the business. Those who hoped the new SEC Network coming to your TV this August would mean more coverage for sports that aren't football and basketball have reason to hope with volleyball and soccer a big part of their fall schedule. Meanwhile, the WNBA has begun their season. Angel Robinson has done well enough in Europe that the 27 yr old who last played for Georgia in 2010 is with Seattle for her rookie season, and she's joined by Jasmine Hassell in her second season with Indiana. Georgia's WNBA vets are Kara Braxton and Teresa Edwards, who is an assistant coach nowin her first season with the Atlanta Dream on former LA Laker Michael Cooper's staff. Braxton is going on almost a decade playing in the league still with the New York Liberty.