Georgia softball beat 4th-ranked Florida, 4-0, in Game 1 of the Gainesville Super Regional on Friday.
Georgia’s four-run game came solely from home runs, with the first coming from a solo home run by Jaiden Fields and then a three-run home run from Payden Bordeau in the seventh inning.
“I had a mindset of not trying to do anything big,” Bordeau said. “Truly, the mindset was to hit a ground ball between the first and second basemen, I was just trying to stay in the moment and stay calm and just do what I know what to do.”
Mary Wilson Avant started in the circle for Georgia and pitched a complete-game shutout in the victory, only allowing three hits. Avant struck out nine Gators and walked two.
Both teams went three up, three down in the first and second innings.
Georgia got on the board first in the third inning with a home run up center field from Fields. Ellie Armistead singled to right field and a Savana Sikes groundout advanced Armistead to second, but she was stranded in scoring position to end the top of the third.
A Sydney Chambley walk and singles from Fields and Bordeau loaded the bases for the Bulldogs in the sixth but nothing went and runners were left on first and second at the end of the inning.
With Fields and Chambley on first and second, Bordeau homered up left field to score three runs and give Georgia the run insurance needed to secure victory in Game 1. Fields went 3-for-3 at the plate in her first start in the lineup since May 1.
The Gators could not get anything going other than a double from Kendyl Lindaman that came in the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs look to take the series win against Florida in Game 2 on Saturday at noon. The game will air on ESPN. A win Saturday would advance Georgia to its fifth Women’s College World Series appearance in program history.
“We’re going to go one game at a time. Today was fun. It was a good game by the girls,” said Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer. “They played hard, and tomorrow’s another day, and we’re going to come out hard again.”