With two weeks to go in the regular season, it’s down to the nitty gritty with six games to go. Alabama faces Georgia in Athens in a three game set. The Bulldogs have had a rocky time as of late but they are still in the SEC and still a ranked team. Montana Fouts has been fantastic while Lexi Kilfoyl has been away from the circle with her mystery injury that nobody is supposed to talk about or inquire about in press conferences.
The Crimson Tide have won four in a row and it would be so easy to think UGA (29-14, 7-11) will be a pushover. However, the Bulldogs are tough and won’t go down without a fight.
Alabama has not played in Athens since 2018 nor have they played the Dawgs since 2019. there will be some unfamiliarity for the younger players.
Nine Alabama players earned degrees and will graduate this weekend: KB Sides, Kyra Lockhart, Krystal Goodman, Alexis Mack*, Claire Jenkins*, Bailey Hemphill*, Sarah Cornell*, Taylor Clark*, and Elissa Brown*. Congrats!
* Grad students
Guess who is SEC Pitcher of the Week? She should’ve been SEC Player of the week as well.
:— Alabama Softball (@AlabamaSB) April 27, 2021
Complete-game win and two saves
Struck out 11 in Saturday's win vs. #13 Louisiana
6th straight start with 10+ Ks, all vs. ranked teams
Retired 9 straight to close out Sunday's win#Team25 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/bKoEgAT5yV
Alabama is ranked 4/4/4/3 in the four polls. Georgia is 20/21/22/NR.
It is interesting to note that Notre Dame has entered one of the rankings at #25 this week. Bama run-ruled the Irish back in February 10-0.
It is believed that the NCAA will announce the Softball Regional sites today. Tuscaloosa seems like a likely locale for the tournament but we’ll see. We will post here when the announcement is made.
Georgia has seven different players as pitchers with five making nine or more appearances. Super senior Mary Wilson Avant should be familiar to long-time Bama softball players. It feels like she has been around as long as ol’ man Hunter Renfrow. She has thrown a ridiculous 151 innings, which is second in the SEC to only Mary Haff of Arkansas. One SEC stat she is tops in is home runs allowed at 19.She has also surrendered 17 doubles (third most) and a triple. Avant is 15-6 with a 2.55 ERA. her strikeouts to walks are 167-54 for a 3.1 ratio. It is highly likely that 21st year UGA coach Lu Harris-Champer starts her on both Friday and Sunday.
Alley Cutting (6-5, 4.15 ERA), Lauren Mathis (4-1, 2.10 ERA), and Madison Kerpics (3-0, 2.73 ERA) are the other main hurlers. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will start but don’t be surprised to see all four including Avant in any game at any moment. It’s late April and UGA is still searching for answers.
The team batting average is .273 which is 11th best in a 13 team conference. Lacey Fincher leads the way at .359 with 12 homers and 30 RBI. Sydney Kuma is right there with her at .314, 13 dingers, 31 RBI. UGA is third in the league in round-trippers with 67, one behind second best Mizzou. They are near the bottom in walks but also don’t strike out a great deal, nor get hit by pitches.
The Dawgs don’t attempt too many steals but have been successful 30 out of 33 times.
Georgia pitching is suspect. The batting is lacking. But at least their defense sucks. The Dawgs defense is last in the SEC with a .952 fielding percentage. they have 59 errors in 43 games. The third baseman, second baseman, and shortstop all have 11 or more errors each.
Opponents are successful in 31 out of 38 in steals.
UGA would like nothng more than to take a gmae or two from big bad Alabama. The Crimson Tide needs to start acting like a top five team and sweep this series.
- Friday, April 30 at Georgia 5 p.m. CT - SECN+
- Saturday, May 1 at Georgia 12 p.m. CT - ESPN2
- Sunday, May 2 at Georgia 1 p.m. CT - SECN+