Georgia Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer during the Bulldogs’ game against Florida on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey
Tim Casey

Tenacious Georgia softball faces Oklahoma State 64 miles from Cowgirls’ campus

Georgia softball will be at a disadvantage of sorts when it opens play in the Women’s College World Series on Thursday, but don’t expect that to discourage the Bulldogs.

Georgia, after all, has been a team that has proven it feeds off adversity.

The Bulldogs (34-21) play No. 5 national seed Oklahoma State (47-10) at 2 p.m. on Thursday (TV: ESPN) at USA Hall of Fame Stadium. The tournament is taking place just 64 miles from Stillwater, Okla., home of the Cowgirls’ campus.

Here are the other opening-round games at the College Women’s Series:

• James Madison vs. Oklahoma, Noon (ESPN)

• Arizona vs. Alabama, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

ª Florida State vs. UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

This marks the fifth time Lu Harris-Champer has taken a Georgia team to the Women’s College World Series in her 21 campaigns, but this season’s team already holds a special place in the head coach’s heart.

“They just have something so tenacious about them, it’s a blessing to be with this team,” said Harris-Champer, who watched her team lose seven straight and 10 of 11 before catching fire in the Athens Regional.

RELATED: Georgia football must shake late-season slump in postseason

“They really just have a lot of guts and a lot of heart,” she said. “.When you have that, you can go a long way. You can get knocked out, but you can stand up, and that’s a big part of it.”

Georgia stunned No. 4 national seed Florida in Gainesville last weekend, winning twice to sweep the Gators.

RELATED: Georgia softball stuns Florida, Mary Wilson Avent stars in circle

“I thought they played with a lot of synergy, lot of heart, lot of grit, lot of guts,” Harris-Champer said. “Just the team, as a whole, banded together and got the job done.”

Oklahoma State represents quite a challenge, but as the Georgia softball program has proven, it is not a team to be counted out.

Here’s a look at how the Bulldogs and Cowgirls compare:

Team ERA

13. Oklahoma State 1.82

104. Georgia 3.26

Fielding percentage

45. Oklahoma State .971

213. Georgia .954

Batting average

16. Oklahoma State .324

154. Georgia .264

Home Runs per game

8. Oklahoma State 1.59

13. Georgia 1.47

Stolen bases per game

137. Oklahoma State 0.98

231. Georgia 0.57

Strength of Schedule

6. Georgia

22. Oklahoma State

Common Opponents

Oklahoma

Georgia 7, Oklahoma 6 (9), April 20

Oklahoma 12, Georgia 3 (5), April 20

Oklahoma State 6, Oklahoma 4, May 7

Oklahoma 6, Oklahoma State 4, May 8

Oklahoma 11, Oklahoma State 8, May 9

Oklahoma 10, Oklahoma State 2 May 15

Arkansas

Oklahoma State 12, Arkansas 11, Feb. 11

Arkansas 10, Georgia 3, April 16

Arkansas 5, Georgia 2, April 17

Arkansas 5, Georgia 2, April 18

Mississippi State

Oklahoma State 9, Mississippi State 3, May 22

Oklahoma State 10, Mississippi State 2, May 23

Mississippi State 4, Georgia 2, May 7

Mississippi State 4, Georgia 2, May 8

Mississippi State 4, Georgia 3, May 9

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