For the second consecutive game, 15th-ranked Georgia softball and No. 14 South Carolina played into extra innings, and the Bulldogs won in eight innings, 6-4, Saturday, tying the series at 1-1.
Offensively, the Bulldogs finished with 11 total hits and were led by a three-hit performance from Alysen Febrey. The junior was on base five times as she also drew two walks. Ciara Bryan and Tyler Armistead each had two hits.
“Today was so fun,” head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. “The offense came out and put runs on the board, and it was another great game.”
Alley Cutting started and pitched five complete innings in the circle. She struck out two and allowed three hits.
Kylie Bass (9-3) relieved Cutting in the sixth. She allowed the go-ahead runs to come in, but she recovered in the final two innings and secured the win while striking out four in three complete innings.
The Bulldogs (35-16, 8-12), taking advantage of Gamecock (35-13, 8-11) miscues, earned the game’s first run in the top of the third. Armistead reached second on an error by the right fielder. With two out, Armistead took third on a wild pitch then immediately scored on another, establishing the 1-0 lead.
In the first two innings, Georgia made two 1-6-3 double plays, making this the first game all season where the Bulldogs turned multiple double plays.
On the first pitch of the sixth inning, Febrey sent a leadoff home run over the wall in center, her seventh home run of the season, and widened the lead to 2-0 late in the game.
A grand slam in the bottom of the sixth from South Carolina’s Cayla Drotar gave the Gamecocks a two-run lead, 4-2, and put Georgia under pressure heading into the seventh.
Down two runs, Bryan reached on a one-out single, and with her 21st home run of the season, Alyssa DiCarlo tied the game at 4-4. Georgia loaded the bases but stranded them full in the inning.
With her home run, DiCarlo broke Georgia’s total bases record previously 523 held by Nicole Barber (2001-04). DiCarlo is now the owner of the all-time home runs, RBI, extra-base hits and total bases records at Georgia.
South Carolina put the potential winning run on third in the bottom of the inning, but Bass worked the Bulldogs out of the jam and sent the game to extra innings for the second time this series. The last time Georgia played back-to-back extra-inning games was 2007.
Armistead doubled to the wall in center with one out in the top of the eighth, and Bryan delivered the Bulldogs’ third home run of the day, another two-run shot to center, and Georgia was up 6-4, a lead Bass would hold until the end of the game.
As suggested at the start of the weekend by the single spot difference in national ranking, there has been little to split the teams in the series, and, after playing a combined five extra innings in the past two games, the series now stands at 1-1.
“Like last night, this game could’ve gone either way and it went our way tonight,” said Harris-Champer. “I’m just so proud of our team and the fight and heart they’ve displayed this weekend. We’re going to enjoy this one tonight and come out ready to play again tomorrow.”