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Kristin M. Bradshaw photo/UGA Sports
Scott Stricklin will look to lead Georgia to another strong season.

Georgia Sports Round-up: Baseball picked the finish third in SEC East, women’s basketball beats Florida

By all accounts, Georgia baseball enters the season as one of the top teams in the sport. Just about every major poll has them ranked inside the top-10 and the Bulldogs will be led by a potentially dominant starting rotation.

Yet because of the strength of the SEC, the Bulldogs are not even the favorites to win their division. Or even finish in second place. The SEC coaches had Georgia finishing third in the SEC East behind defending national champion Vanderbilt. Florida was picked to finish second.

Arkansas was picked to win the SEC West, and Vanderbilt was the preseason choice to win the conference. Georgia did receive one vote to win the conference and two votes to win the SEC East.

The SEC is the top conference in college baseball, as 10 teams made the NCAA tournament last year with four advancing to the College World Series.

The coaches also voted on the preseason All-SEC teams and two Bulldogs were represented. Pitcher Emerson Hancock made the first team and second baseman Riley King landed on the second team.

The Bulldogs open the season this Friday as they host Richmond at Foley Field for the first game of a three-game set against the Spiders. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Georgia softball starts season with sweep

The Georgia softball team got its season started this past weekend and it was a successful one for the Bulldogs. Georgia won all five games, with wins against Howard, Kent State and UNC-Wilmington.

Georgia won the five games by a combined score of 48-4. Jordan Doggett, Jaiden Fields and Mackenzie Puckett all hit over .600 in the series while Ciara Bryan hit two home runs and drove in nine runs.

The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday when they take on in-state foe Georgia State. The game will be played in Atlanta. This weekend, the Bulldogs head to Clearwater, Fla., to take part in the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational.

Georgia will play Kansas, Northwestern, UCLA, Texas Tech and USF over the course of the three-day tournament.

Georgia women’s basketball beats Florida

Both Georgia basketball teams paid visits to Florida last week to take on the rival Gators. The men’s team coughed up a 20-point lead in a loss last Wednesday, but the women’s team was able to come away with a win in Gainesville.

The Lady Bulldogs pulled out a 49-43 win over the Gators on Sunday. Redshirt junior Jenna Staiti had a huge game as she posted 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in the win.

Credit our team for coming out in the third quarter and really locking in offensively,”Georgia women’s basketball coach Joni Taylor said. “Jenna just carried us most of the night and Que played her heart out. It’s not easy to win on the road, so I am just proud of our team today.”

With the win, Georgia moves to 13-11 on the season and 4-7 in the SEC. The Bulldogs have the week off before returning to action against Alabama on this Sunday. The game tips at 1 p.m. ET and can be seen on the SEC Network.

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