The No. 8 Georgia softball team split a double-header against the Elon Phoenix and the Ohio State Buckeyes to start the season 1-1 on Friday at the Red and Black Showcase at Jack Turner Stadium.
The Bulldogs (1-1) lost the first game to Elon (1-1), 5-2, before rallying to beat the Buckeyes (1-1) 6-1 in the second contest.
Georgia 6, Ohio State 1
Samantha LaZear and Criket Blanco went a combined 4-for-6 to lead the Bulldogs to a 6-1 win over the Buckeyes. The six runs were scored by six different players in the comeback win. Geri Ann Glasco earned the first win of her career, allowing just one run in a complete-game, three-hitter. Melanie Nichols suffered the loss for the Buckeyes after pitching two-thirds of an inning and giving up three unearned runs. Also seeing time the circle for OSU were Alex DiDomencio and Olivia O’Reilly.
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the first after Taylor Watkins scored on a wild pitch. The Bulldogs settled down in the second inning, refusing to allow Ohio State a base for the next four innings.
Georgia’s bats came alive in the fourth and fifth innings, but the Bulldogs were unable to push a run across, leaving a pair of runners stranded each time.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, the Bulldogs loaded the bases before taking a 2-1 lead. Blanco crossed the plate when Niaja Griffin drew bases-loaded walk. LaZear drove in the second run with a single that scored Anna Swafford. Georgia scored again when Kaylee Puaiola crossed the plate on a pass ball before Wilson reeled off a bases-clearing double to center to bring in three more runs and put the Bulldogs up 6-1.
The Buckeyes loaded the bases in the seventh, but an infield fly to Sito sealed the 6-1 win.
Elon 5, Georgia 2
In game one, Chelsea White notched the win for Elon, throwing a complete-game and allowing two runs. Chelsea Wilkinson took the loss for Georgia, giving up four runs on five hits in six innings in the circle. Griffin led the Bulldogs offensively, finishing with two hits and a run.
After a pitcher’s duel that lasted the first three and a half innings, Georgia scored in the fourth. Glasco put a runner on with a single to left field. Swafford, who pinch ran for Glasco, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch.
Georgia had a chance in the fifth, putting runners in scoring position but were unable to capitalize as Paige Wilson struck out to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Elon used back-to-back singles to put runners on base, before Tomeka Watson hit a home run down the left field line to give the Phoenix a 3-1 advantage.
Elon made it a 5-1 game in the seventh after a home run by Emily Cameron. Georgia looked to rally in the seventh, as Wilson doubled in Griffin, but it was too late and the game ended with a final score of 5-2.
Georgia is back in action on Saturday for another double-header against Elon at 12:30 p.m. and Ohio State at 3:00 p.m. Ohio State and Winthrop kick off the second day of the Red and Black Showcase at 10 a.m.