Today was an interesting day of softball, for sure. I arrived at the field early today to watch Elon and Ohio State square off, and it was close game for a good while until the Buckeye offense came alive, eventually defeating Elon by a score of 10-2 in a shortened, five inning game.
This group of girls wore their emotions on their sleeves in the first game and it was a little more than obvious. They came out like a deer in the headlights, not doing anything on offense, and making more base running errors than one could imagine. Wilkinson got the start in the first contest and was getting plenty of strikeouts and groundouts, but she threw a first-pitch change-up to none other than my old buddy, Tomeka Watson, who promptly sent the pitch soaring over the left field wall to lead her team to a 3-1 lead. Montemayor came in to relieve Wilkinson, only to give up a two-run dinger on a 70mph fastball right down the gut of the plate. Then, she struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning. Georgia’s bats tried to fight back in the bottom of the inning as Sito drove in a run, but Glasco popped out on the infield to make the score a final of 5-2.
I was a little shaken up after watching the first game, and I was hoping and praying that a different team would emerge in the second game against a much tougher Buckeye opponent. Ohio State took the lead in the first inning no thanks to a passed ball, and it seemed like we were in for another upset. In the fifth inning, Wilson hit what appeared to be a two RBI double to the gap, but was called an out due to a substitution error. Talk about a total momentum killer! In the sixth inning, Niaja Griffin drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 1-1. Then, LaZear slapped an infield single with bases loaded to score another run, making the score 2-1. On the very next play, Puailoa scored on a passed ball to pad the Georgia lead at 3-1. Paige Wilson stepped into the batter’s box, still angry over the substitution error that took her 2RBI double away, and she outdid herself–she drilled a 3RBI double up the middle, bringing the score to 6-1. This would be the final score as Georgia won on the back of a 3-hitter from Glasco, who fanned nine Buckeye batters.
Niaja Griffin and Cricket each posted .400 averages today, and LaZear posted a .375 clip. Katie Browne was hitting the mess out of the ball every time, but it seemed one Ohio State player after another were making web gem type plays to get her out each time.
People will say what they will about the loss to Elon, but as I have said before: this team is young and they are going to be forced to grow up really quick. In my eyes, they grew up a little bit tonight against Ohio State, and I think tomorrow they will perform lights out.
It is such an exciting and new feeling to be a superfan of such a dynamic, but young Georgia softball squad! As always, Go Dawgs!
PS: Georgia plays Elon at 12 tomorrow, followed by Ohio State again.