Alex Hugo Joins Georgia Softball!

It has been announced that Alex Hugo has been released from the University of Kansas and will be joining the softball team here at the University of Georgia! This is a great day for Georgia Athletics and Georgia Softball! Alex Hugo absolutely dominated the competition as a rookie at Kansas in 2013! Hugo amassed an eye-popping .428 average, 45 RBIs, and 15 long balls…all of this as a first-year player in the Big 12. Not only did Hugo provide a high level of offensive output, but she also fielded her position near perfectly, committing just four errors over the course of the entire season.

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Alex Hugo reaches base in a 2013 contest while playing for the Kansas Jayhawks. (Courtesy Kansas Athletics)

When it was announced that Hugo was seeking to leave Kansas, I immediately thought at all the of the big-name schools that would go after her, and it crossed my mind that maybe someone in the SEC stood a shot. Hugo undoubtedly was approached by a number of schools and programs, but it appears to have come down between Georgia and LSU. I have to admit, I think this young lady will look much better in Red & Black than Purple & Gold! 😉

The good thing about adding Hugo to the already-strong Georgia offense is that she consistently gets on base. In 2013, Hugo boasted a .498 on-base percentage and had a whopping 1.294 OBPS. This shows me that she can consistently reach base and get into scoring position and that she can also strike for major power also. She will fit in right at home at the top of this Bulldog order! I really think her and Malia Rivers are going to be a potent 1-2 punch if they just so happen to both be at the top of the order or 9-1, etc…

Questions may begin to arise as to where exactly Hugo will be playing in the field for Georgia, but I have a hunch that she will either be at third base or at second base. She may see some innings behind the plate, but it’s really hard to beat a catcher with the caliber of arm that Katie Browne has behind the dish. Katie should have the catching spot locked down for three more years to come! I would love to see Hugo over at third base so that we can add Swafford to the outfield and possibly have one of the fastest outfield units in the country.  I have heard that Hugo is a defensive stud on the infield and wherever else she plays and so I am hoping she can take over the hot corner if Anna indeed moved to play the outfield. At the same time, Anna made some great plays in 2013 and towards the end of the season seemed to be very comfortable at third.

Guess we will have to wait and see how that pans out!

Cannot wait for Hugo to get to Athens, start classes, and join the Bulldogs on the diamond! Fall Ball is just around the corner, folks!

As always, Go Dawgs!

Alex Hugo collects a solid hit in a 2013 contest at home for Kansas.

Alex Hugo collects a solid hit in a 2013 contest at home for Kansas. (Courtesy Kansas Athletics)

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Looking Back & Looking Forward!

I really dropped the ball, no pun intended, with the blog as the end of the 2013 season approached. This post will give all of you Georgia Softball fans a quick recap of some of the awards and accomplishments Georgia garnered in 2013.

Georgia finished the 2013 season with an overall record of 40-21 to go along with making the  championship game of the Tempe Regional against the Arizona State Sun Devils. The keys to the pitching puzzle seemed to fit towards the end of the season as Montemayor and Wilkinson baffled opponents consistently for the last month of the season. Perhaps this will be a sign of things to come in the circle next year?! Last I heard, Geri Ann has been working very hard on her approach and spin in the off season and I super excited to see how she looks in the Fall.

For her outstanding performance at both the plate and in the circle in 2013, the NFCA tabbed Georgia rookie standout, Geri Ann Glasco, as a 3rd-Team All American. Paige Wilson was named an Easton 1st-Team All American, while Geri Ann Glasco and Kaylee Puailoa both garnered 2nd-Team honors.

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1st Team All-SEC and Easton 2nd Team All-American rookie slugger, Kaylee Puailoa, takes a healthy cut in a 2013 contest. (Courtesy GeorgiaDogs.com, shot by Evan Stichler)

Paige Wilson led the 2013 Georgia Bulldogs at the plate with a .403 average, 16 home runs, 66 RBI, and an impressive 1.169 OPS. Geri Ann Glasco (.363, 19 HR, 61 RBI, 1.204 OPS) and Kaylee Puailoa (.380, 16 HR, 54 RBI, 1.182 OPS) also put up monster numbers from the plate as rookies!

Georgia has two incoming freshmen that are poised to make an immediate impact in the form of Malia Rivers (Brentwood, CA) and Maeve McGuire (Downers Grove, IL). Over the Summer, Malia Rivers was tagged as the Player of the Year in the Bay Valley Athletic League and also earned 1st-Team All East Bay honors after batting .595 at the plate with a team-high 25 runs batted in. Over a thousand miles away from Malia, Maeve McGuire was racking up hits at the plate as well. In her senior season, the returning Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year batted a .515 clip with nine home runs and 51 RBIs. McGuire finished her career at Benet Academy with a .472 career average and 25 home runs.

Malia Rivers takes a swing in a 2013 game for Western High School. (Courtesy, The Press Online)

It is no secret that Georgia’s offense was just as explosive as it has been in recent years in 2013. I cannot begin to imagine about how powerful our offense can be in 2014 if things gradually are progressing and hard work is being put in over the Summer! I truly believe that Malia Rivers is going to be as good as they come in the SEC once she settles in. Combine her speed and athleticism with the power and discipline of Maeve McGuire and you have two stud rookies on your roster!

Pencil in a last second surprise or two, a transfer, and some much-needed improvements in pitching strategy and I think Georgia is going to give everyone a run for their money for the next three years. We have some pretty big match-ups in 2014, including finally getting to face off against Owen from Mississippi State and an already-looming match-up against Alabama in Tuscaloosa this time around. There is no doubt in my mind that if pitching would have been as good as it was in the end for the entire season, that the 2013 squad could have made it much further in the post season, but hey, that’s what it is all about…Learning!

I believe we can expect to see a much-improved pitching staff in 2014 in the form of Morgan Montemayor, Chelsea Wilkinson, and Geri Ann Glasco. If the hitting gets even 1% better from 2013 to 2014, we will still be able to out-hit a majority of the opponents we face, including most of the SEC programs. No doubt about it, we are not the only young team that is looking for a trophy…Kentucky, LSU, and Florida just to name a few.

With the graduation of the likes of Ivy Renfroe, Chelsea Thomas, Rachele Fico, Raven Chavanne, and others, the SEC becomes a wide-open race for the top spot. With their strong, reloaded offense, and with some improved work from the circle, I have complete confidence that the Bulldogs are going to pose a huge threat in 2014.

Here’s looking forward to another great season in 2014! To think, only two months or so until Fall Practices and three months away from some Fall Ball games! Bring it on!

As always, Go Dawgs!