COLUMBIA, S.C. | The fourth-seeded Georgia softball team earned a berth in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game after handing the top-seeded and SEC regular-season champion Alabama a 5-3 loss on Friday.
The Bulldogs (44-12) have defeated five straight top-10 teams for the first time in program history.
Alex Hugo delivered the game-winning hit in the top of the seventh, with a towering two-run home run that put the Bulldogs up 5-3.
Geri Ann Glasco led off the inning with a double. Hugo finished 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs and two RBI.
Tina Iosefa and Paige Wilson also recorded two hits for the Bulldogs.
Chelsea Wilkinson got her second-straight win in the SEC Tournament, throwing the final 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out five. She is now 28-7 on the year. Her 28 wins are the most by a Georgia pitcher since 2007 when Kasi Carroll earned 29. Glasco got the start, throwing 1 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs and giving up two runs on two hits and two hit batsmen.
Sydney Littlejohn suffered the loss to fall to 10-2 on the year. She allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks in the complete game performance.
The victory set up a showdown with Kentucky for the SEC tournament title at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Women’s golf cards 296 in NCAA regional second round
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | The Georgia women’s golf team posted an 8-over 296 in Friday’s second round of the NCAA East Regional at SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Florida. The Bulldogs climbed five spots on the team leaderboard to 15th and are at 18-over 594 through 36 holes.
Entering Saturday’s final round, Georgia is 13 shots off the cut line to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Freshmen Harang Lee and Sammi Lee led the Bulldogs with a pair of 1-over 73s. Georgia also counted two 75s, the score posted by Amira Alexander, Manuela Carbajo Ré and Rocio Sanchez Lobato.
Overall, Harang Lee is tied for 27th at 27th at 145, Sammi Lee is tied for 46th at 148, Sanchez Lobato is tied for 55th at 149, Carbajo Ré is tied for 84th at 152 and Alexander is tied for 98th at 154.
Georgia opened the quickly and was 4-under through seven holes before giving back all four of those strokes on No. 8 and No. 9. The Bulldogs steadied after turn but then slipped again late in the day and played the final three holes at 6-over.
No. 12 Vanderbilt remained atop the team field following a 1-over 289. The Commodores lead No. 2 Duke by six strokes. Campbell is currently in eighth place at 581, with Georgia tied with No. 24 Auburn tied at 594.
Stanford’s Mariah Stackhouse is the individual leader at 5-under 139, a shot better than Duke teammates Celine Boutier and Sandy Choi.
Georgia will be paired with UCF and East Carolina for Saturday’s final round, teeing off in the afternoon wave beginning at 12:15 p.m. The top-eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in two weeks in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Rebels pound Bulldogs
OXFORD, Miss. | The 11th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels posted a 12-2 win over Georgia Friday in the opening game of an SEC series at Swayze Field.
Georgia (23-24-1, 9-15-1 SEC) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first, loading the bases with one out on a double by Conor Welton, a single by Nelson Ward and a walk to Daniel Nichols.
Designated hitter Sean McLaughlin registered an RBI on a fielder’s choice, and that was all Rebel right-hander Chris Ellis surrendered. The junior ace for Ole Miss improved to 8-0, scattering 10 hits and just two runs in 6.2 innings. McLaughlin singled and scored in the sixth on an RBI-single by freshman Skyler Weber.
Junior third baseman Hunter Cole, Georgia’s leading hitter who had started all 48 games this season before tonight, missed the game with a rib irritation. He is listed as day-to-day.
The series continues 5 p.m. Saturday.