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Georgia right-handed pitcher Mary Wilson Avant (5) waits to pitch during a NCAA softball game against Howard University on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at the Jack Turner Softball Stadium in Athens, Georgia. The Bulldogs defeated the Bison 11-1 in five innings. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

Veteran pitchers Mary Wilson Avant and Alley Cutting allowed only one hit and three baserunners in Georgia’s 8-0 victory against Austin Peay, bringing the Bulldogs to 5-0 on the weekend and giving them their fifth run-rule in six games.

Avant was lights out from the start, retiring the first eight Austin Peay batters she faced. Only three of those came as strikeouts though, as she induced a lot of weak contact and let the defense play its part.

“I was definitely coming into this game knowing that I was going to be able to work on some stuff,” Avant said. “It’s easier to do that with such a great defense behind you.”

Georgia put one run on the board in the first inning, but it was the second when they really found their rhythm at the plate. Mahlena O’Neal and Mackenzie Puckett both had doubles, and Austin Peay only made matters worse with four walks out of the nine batters faced in the inning.

Avant kept the no-hit bid alive until the fifth inning when she gave up a single to Austin Peay’s Shelby Harpe. She finished her day recording just one hit and one hit-by-pitch and allowing only two baserunners through five innings.

Senior Alley Cutting relieved Avant in the sixth and tossed a no-hit inning of her own to close out the game. She was a workhorse for Georgia all weekend, appearing in three of the five games and picking up two wins and a save in the process.

Though the Bulldogs weren’t able to scratch an eighth run across and reach the mercy rule in the fifth inning, it only took one pitch in the sixth to do so. Sophomore Lacey Fincher called game with a home run to dead center field on the first pitch of the sixth inning to wrap up Georgia’s 5-0 weekend in walk-off fashion.

“[The walk-off] feels really good,” said Fincher. “I’ve been working really hard to just use my core in my hitting and to stay behind the ball, and I feel like I really did that this weekend.”

The win moves the Bulldogs to 14-3 on the season and extends their win streak to six games. They’ll look to keep the ball rolling against Alabama State on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. in Athens.