Georgia softball could not recover from an early Florida lead and lost 8-1 at Jack Turner Stadium to suffer another SEC series loss Monday night.
Georgia starting pitcher Mary Wilson Avant pitched a full game, recorded six strikeouts and walked six Florida batters. The loss is Avant’s third this season.
Georgia allowed four unearned Florida runs. Both of Sarah Longley’s runs were unearned. The other two were from Cheyenne Lindsey in the fourth inning and Avery Goelz in the seventh.
Florida’s Charla Echols hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. After a Goelz RBI that scored Julia Cottrill, Florida led 3-0.
Echols hit another home run in the top of the third to put Florida up 4-0. After two back-to-back strikeouts for Avant and a left field fly out, the Bulldogs got out of the inning allowing only one run.
Georgia catcher Payden Bordeau went 2-for-3 with singles in the second and fourth innings. Savana Sikes recorded a double in the bottom of the first. Sikes scored the lone run for the Bulldogs with a home run up the center in the third inning. It was Sikes’ fifth home run in her junior season.
“What I’m proud of is that [Sikes] was awesome tonight. She was awesome at the plate,” said Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer. “[The loss] definitely gives us information about what we need to get back to work on, so we will definitely learn from it.”
Pitcher Katie Chronister started for Florida. Chronister allowed five hits, one run, walked two Bulldogs, and struck out one. Chronister was replaced by Natalie Lugo after the fourth inning. Lugo struck out three and walked one.
An error by Avant in the seventh inning advanced Florida runners to second and third. A sac fly by Lindsey advanced Longley to third and scored Goelz, unearned. Florida scored another unearned run, from a Hannah Adams RBI that brought in Longley to put the Gators up 8-1.
The Bulldogs have recorded their second SEC series loss with Monday’s loss. Georgia looks to regroup as it travels to Kennesaw State on Wednesday with first pitch at 5 p.m.
“We made some plays. We can continue to get tougher and grittier as we continue into SEC play,” Harris-Champer said.