Georgia softball faces at tall task in Tennessee, looking to rebound from a 5-1 loss to the first-place Lady Vols on Saturday.

The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (30-7, 6-4 SEC) play No. 4 Tennessee (29-5, 9-1) at noon on Saturday in an SEC Network game from Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

The Lady Vols ran through UGA staff ace Lilli Backes (12-4) for three runs in 3 1/2 innings before tagging veteran reliever Shelby Walters for two more runs in the final 2 2/3 innings.

Tennessee pitcher Karlyn Pickens, the 2023 Freshman of the Year, tossed her 11th complete game of the year en route to her 15th win.

Georgia’s veteran offense, typically prolific, got its only run when freshman Emily Digby hit her fourth home run of the season to lead off the fifth inning and prevent the shutout.

The Bulldogs entered the series with momentum after knocking off Mercer on Wednesday in Athens.

“I think the biggest thing about tonight was that we bounced back and played Georgia softball,” Third-year Georgia coach Tony Baldwin said after the win over Mercer.

“We really took care of all the phases of the game. We had some really good at-bats where the outcome didn’t turn out the way that we would’ve liked, but they were doing the right things.”

The same mentality will apply for the Bulldogs at Tennessee in what ranks among the most fierce softball rivalries in the SEC, as Georgia has gone 9-6 against the Lady Vols since 2018 but trails the all-time series 39-45.