Head coach Lu Harris-Champer speaks to players at a game against Georgia Tech at the Jack Turner Softball Complex on Apr. 17, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. Georgia defeated Tech 7-0. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

For the second day in a row, Georgia’s game was decided by a home run in the eighth inning, but this time the Bulldogs were on the losing end.

A leadoff solo home run from Minnesota’s Hope Brandner saw the No. 7-ranked Gophers (43-12) win 2-1. The No. 14-ranked Bulldogs (42-18) will now play an elimination game against Drake on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. for the chance to play Minnesota again and a spot at the NCAA Super Regionals.

Both sides’ pitchers came to play and the game remained scoreless through five innings of action.

“We knew going into this game we were in for another battle against a top pitcher,” head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. “Mary [Wilson Avant] pitched a great game for us in the circle, arguably one of her better performances this season.”

Avant pitched the complete game for the Bulldogs, finishing with seven strikeouts and only allowed four hits from the Gopher batters. Minnesota’s Amber Fiser pitched a complete game as well, striking out eight and allowing two hits.

Those two hits came from Jordan Doggett, one being a crucial home run that broke the deadlock and the no-hit bid for Fiser in the sixth inning.

Going into the bottom of the seventh with the 1-0 lead, Georgia and Avant tried to hold off a Minnesota surge, but to no avail. The Gophers knotted the game and then went on to take the victory in the eighth.

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