Following a series sweep over the Missouri Tigers this past weekend, the Georgia baseball team is once again the highest ranked SEC team in both major national polls. D1baseball has the Bulldogs at No. 4, while Baseball America has Georgia at No. 3.
It was another strong weekend for the Georgia pitching staff, as the Bulldogs (33-8, 13-5) gave up just 4 runs to Missouri in three games. Thursday starter Emerson Hancock threw 8.0 shutout innings for Georgia while racking up a career-best 11 strikeouts. For his efforts, Hancock was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week.
The Bulldogs have their toughest remaining regular-season test this week. The Bulldogs play No. 11 Georgia Tech on Tuesday in SunTrust Park in Atlanta. Then Georgia travels to Starkville, Miss., for a three-game set against the No. 9 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. Prior to getting swept by No. 8 Arkansas this past weekend, Mississippi State had the top record in the SEC West.
“The biggest thing is we have Georgia Tech on Tuesday and playing at SunTrust Park for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta so a huge charity event,” Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “It will be the rubber match of the series. We’re tied 1-1, so whoever wins, wins this series. We’re going to have a great crowd.
“Then, we are going to Mississippi State, and they are one of the best teams in the country, really one of the most complete teams in the country.”
Georgia has a one-game lead over No. 5 Vanderbilt for first place in the SEC East, and a one-game lead over Arkansas and Vanderbilt for the best overall record in the conference.
Georgia Women’s Tennis suffers first loss in SEC Championship match
The Georgia women’s tennis team suffered its first defeat of the season on Sunday in a tightly-contested match in the SEC women’s tennis tournament championship. The No. 1 Bulldogs fell 4-3 to the No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks in the final round of the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs, who won the SEC regular-season title, beat South Carolina 4-2 earlier in the season.
The Bulldogs won the doubles point to jump out to 1-0 in the match. But South Carolina responded by winning three of the first four singles matches. Georgia rallied back to tie it at 3-3 with a win by sophomore Vivian Wolff on court 4. It all came down to the third set between No. 1 ranked Katarina Jokic for Georgia and No. 4 Gamarra Martins of South Carolina.
Martins was able to dig out a 6-4 third set win to clinch the SEC title for the Gamecocks.
“We played great doubles all weekend as we got all three doubles points” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “I think what we take away from this is how much we’ve learned, and what we need to apply moving forward to the NCAA Tournament.
“You have to take your hat off to South Carolina; they played a great match against us today. We’ve had an epic year, and we’ve been in a lot of battles like this and we’ve found ways to get through it and get it done, but we just didn’t this time. South Carolina had a lot to do with that.”
Georgia will find out its path to a national title on April 29. That is when the field for the NCAA Tournament will be announced. The Bulldogs will almost certainly be one of the top seeds in the field following their stellar season.
Georgia softball wins series against Tennessee
The No. 22 Georgia softball team was able to win two out of three games this weekend against the visiting No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers.
The two teams split Saturday’s doubleheader, with the Bulldogs (33-15, 7-11) winning the first game 6-2, and losing the second 7-6. Georgia dominated Sunday’s game, as the Bulldogs came away with an 8-0 victory over the Volunteers to take the series.
“It’s huge at the end of the season we are getting down to just a handful of series left so I am really proud of the team.” Georgia softball coach Lu Harris-Champer said following Sunday’s win. “I’m so proud to see them playing with so much joy and loving the game the way that they do.”
The Bulldogs have just two weekend series left, as Georgia travels to South Carolina this coming weekend. The Bulldogs then end the regular season when they host Ole Miss from May 3-5. The SEC softball tournament is set to begin in College Station, Texas on May 8.