After knocking off LSU twice in last week’s final regular-season series, Georgia might feel a little tired of seeing purple in the opposite dugout.
But the Bulldogs will need to beat the Tigers a third straight time to advance to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
“We’re so excited,” Georgia second baseman Tess Sito said. “We know what we can do against them. They know what they can do against us. To beat a team three times in a row is pretty hard but we know we can do it. We’re just going to come out there and play like we would against any other team and do our best.”
Fourth-seeded Georgia (37-18) will play fifth-seeded LSU (40-13) in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at 1:30 p.m. today at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Georgia and LSU both had first-round byes on Wednesday. The winner will face either top-seeded Florida or the winner of the first-round matchup between Alabama and Texas A&M at 3 p.m. Friday.
“This is going to be a good matchup because LSU obviously isn’t just going to lay down and let us beat them three times in a row,” Georgia third baseman Anna Swafford said. “I think it’s going to be a really good game. “We’ve just got to keep playing Georgia softball and not focus on where we are or who we’re playing. We just need to go out and play hard and not think. Whenever we play the best is when we just go out and do our own thing and just play hard.”
Georgia grabbed two games from LSU last weekend at home and both were come-from-behind victories. LSU took a 2-0 first-inning lead in Game 1, but Georgia roared back to score eight runs in the third inning and win 10-7. In Game 2 on Sunday, LSU again took an early advantage and led 5-3 going into the sixth inning, but Georgia rallied to win 10-5. Game 3 of the series was cancelled due of rain.
“We’ve come back so many times this year that the coaches always call us the comeback Team,” Sito said. “We just never get down. We don’t want to get behind, but we know it’s going to happen sometimes. We play in the SEC and we play against really good teams. It’s just all about who fights and who can get it back together. We know we don’t need to get nervous or anything when we do get down. We just have to take it inning by inning and keep doing what we’re doing.”
Georgia goes to the SEC Tournament on a hot streak. The Bulldogs have won eight of their last 11 conference games. Their biggest blemish in that streak was losing two of three at consensus No. 2 Florida, but they bounced back to win two straight against then-No. 8 LSU the next week.
“I think we’re peaking right now,” Swafford said. “There were a couple of other times we might have peaked before. But right now we’ve beaten some really good teams. We continue to come from behind to win. We gave Florida a pretty good run and played them really well. I feel like we are peaking at the right time and hopefully we’ll continue to play as well as we’ve been playing.”