ATHENS — Another late-game rally, this time a five-run sixth inning, erased a four-run deficit and the Georgia softball team earned its first trip to the Women’s College World Series with a 7-6 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes in Game 2 of the Athens Super Regional on Friday night in front of 871 fans and an ESPN2 national television audience.
The No. 6 Bulldogs advance into the World Series by virtue of winning two of the best-of-three series. Georgia defeated No. 11 Ohio State 6-4 on Thursday night.
"I am proud of the hard work that the team, staff and everyone around this program have put in," Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. "To beat a great team such as Ohio State, you have to work hard to get the win. We are going to enjoy our success (Friday) and get back to work and go get after it."
Georgia (44-10) began the scoring in the top of the first. Sophomore Taylor Schlopy (2-for-3) and sophomore Alisa Goler walked to begin the game, then sophomore Megan Wiggins was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore Brianna Hesson (2-for-4) then singled to left to score Schlopy to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Ohio State (47-11) was quick to respond in the bottom half when Courtney Pruner hit a grand slam. The Buckeyes added to that lead in the bottom of the third.
Georgia began its comeback in the top of the fourth inning. Senior Kristin Schnake (2-for-4) was singled home by Schlopy to make the score 6-2. The Lady Bulldogs completed their comeback in the top of the sixth inning. Freshman Tori Moody led off the inning with a solo home run to center cutting the lead to 6-3. Schnake reached on a bunt single, then moved to third after Daniels bunt single and an error by the first baseman. With runners at the corners, Schlopy cracked a 3-1 pitch over the right field fence to tie the game at six.
With two outs in the same inning, after Goler was intentionally walked and freshman Brittany Hubbard was inserted as a pinch runner, Hesson doubled to left center, scoring Hubbard from first to give Georgia its first lead of the game, and ultimately the series-clinching score, 7-6.
The Women’s College World Series will be held May 28—June 3 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Bulldogs are the first team to punch their ticket to the World Series; the remaining seven slots in the World Series will be determined during the weekend.