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.
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“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.
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“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:
13. Oklahoma State 1.82
104. Georgia 3.26
45. Oklahoma State .971
213. Georgia .954
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
22. Oklahoma State
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
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
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