Georgia Drops Three to Tennessee, Faces Western Carolina Wednesday

Despite hitting five home runs in three games against one of the top teams in the conference and in the nation, Georgia was swept by the Lady Volunteers in Athens this past weekend. Georgia had chances to make some noise and try to steal a win or two from Tennessee, but could not seem to get the big hit at the right time. In the end, Georgia was defeated 10-3, 9-2, and 6-1. Although it would seemingly be time for panic with the Dawgs having been swept in their last two SEC series, think otherwise. Not only is Tennessee one of the most experienced and decorated teams in the nation (pitching and offensively), but they also have been playing some tough competition all year long and have gotten to see some caliber of play that we have not.

The three losses to Tennessee remind me so much of the losses in 2009 to Florida in Gainesville when the Gators swept the Dawgs convincingly, but yet both the Bulldogs and the Gators were in Oklahoma City for the WCWS in June. With each loss and with each clash with a tough foe, our young Dawgs are getting better and better, especially on the pitching end. Despite giving up 33 hits in total to the Volunteers over the weekend, between 8-10 of those hits were flares to no-man’s land, bloop singles, and weak grounders through the left and right side. I feel confident that with a little defensive work (much-needed), that the girls will truly be able to hang in there with anybody. Just like in 2009, it takes a little while to get acclimated to tough SEC play, and I have faith that this team can still make it very far. Keep up the hard work, ladies!

Anna Swafford hit two home runs against Tennessee–one off of Ivy Renfroe and one off of Ellen Renfroe. (Courtesy The Red & Black)

In the losses, I was able to see some really good things and also noticed some particularly bothersome things. Here is a short list of things I took away from the games:

1. Base-running: We still look uncomfortable at times on the base pads, and base running cost us some key outs in the series against Tennessee. Granted, sometimes you simply get dealt some tough luck when running the bases, but this team must balance their aggressive base-pad tendencies with a more focused approach if we are going to steal bases and move runners into scoring position successfully.

2. Clutch hitting: Yes, we were able to knock five bombs out of the park off of the Renfroe Sisters, but look at the instances where the dingers were hit! All five home runs hit by our Dawgs in the series were solo shots–this hurt us a lot! If we were able to just get one or two people on in front of just half of those home runs, the scores would have looked much more competitive and we would have certainly stood a shot at taking a game or two! The same thing applies for some big hits over the weekend…it seems all the big hits and extra-base hits came with nobody on base. The one really positive thing that I took away in terms of our hitting is that we can hit the ball hard against good pitching, but can we learn to do it at the right time? In time, I think so.

3. In the Circle: No doubt about it, the Bulldogs have four very talented pitchers on their roster, but the big question this year has been who to throw when, and what pitch sequences to use for each pitcher against different types of opposing batters. I really saw a lot of positive things from Chelsea Wilkinson this past weekend, and I think if she can find confidence in her fast drop ball, then she is going to have a plethora of success this season and in the future. Geri Ann did a great job in game two against the Vols, but walks started piling up and Tennessee definitely took advantage of that. Our young pitchers tend to want to give up a walk to a batter, rather than giving up a hit, and so in doing this they simply pick around the batter and the zone. For our young hurlers to be successful in the SEC and in the post season, they are going to have to have a cut-throat mentality and go right at opposing hitters. It has to be their best pitch versus a hitter’s best swing. Simple as that. Morgan Montemayor struggled in the opening two innings of play in the Friday game against Tennessee, but was brilliant in the final innings of the Sunday match-up. I have said it once, and I will say it again: MoMo needs to be a Craig Kimbrel-esque closer and we will get timely, positive results out of her. She could easily be one of the best closers in the game, despite the “closer” role not being used very frequently in fastpitch.

Georgia continues play tonight (Wednesday) at 4pm and 6pm against Western Carolina here in Athens. The Western Carolina Catamounts have an overall record of 15-26 and have amassed a 5-10 SoCon record. Georgia will look to add two more wins to their resumé before heading to Columbia, South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks this weekend.

As always, Go Dawgs!



Tennessee Lady Volunteers Visit Athens This Weekend:

Georgia faces one of the toughest opponents of the season this weekend as the Bulldogs welcome the Tennessee Lady Volunteers to Jack Turner Stadium. In 2012, these two clubs faced an unimaginable five times with Georgia winning two of the five contests. Besides the regular season double-header, the two clubs faced each other three more times in the NCAA Knoxville Super Regional. Georgia won the first regular season meeting between the two in 2012 by a 3-1 margin in 11 innings before falling 2-1 in the second game. In the Knoxville Super Regional, Georgia lost the first contest 3-2, won the second by a narrow 1-0 score, and then dropped the final game 2-1–in turn allowing Tennessee to advance to the 2012 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. All of the meetings in 2012 between the two teams were very close contests because each side featured some outstanding pitching. Erin Arevalo threw some brilliant games against the Vols last season, and our pitchers this year are hoping to find similar success by mixing up spin and speeds!

Tennessee and Georgia are both currently tied for third place in the SEC East with identical 6-3 SEC records, behind only Florida (10-2 SEC) and Missouri (7-1 SEC). I really think the fact that this series is in Athens will really benefit our Dawgs, especially if the crowd this weekend is anything close to what it was like at the stormy, midweek rivalry game against Georgia Tech. We really need to take at least two of the three games in this series to prevent from dropping any further in the SEC. Florida takes on Mississippi State this weekend, while Mizzou takes on the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

Attention UGA fans: we need to be rooting for the other Bulldogs and the Tide in this case! 😀

In the all-time series between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Lady Vols, Tennessee leads by an extremely narrow 31-29 mark. Tennessee also leads the series in Athens by an even narrower 13-12 margin. Without a doubt, this series will be a trio of really exciting, competitive match-ups and I think our bats have the potential to spoil the Vols trip to Athens! We lead Tennessee in every offensive category with the exception to stolen bases and stolen base attempts, although Tennessee’s pitching staff has about a 1.00 run smaller earned run average than we do at this time. This should come as no surprise as Tennessee is known more for their strong pitching and offensive speed rather than their power at the plate. This has the potential to be one of the best conference series of the year and I hope our young Bulldogs can arise to the challenge and take it to the Vols with a lot of confidence!

As of late, sophomore OF Niaja Griffin has displayed some impressive slap hitting to go along with absolutely brilliant outfield work.

As of late, sophomore OF Niaja Griffin has displayed some impressive slap hitting to go along with absolutely brilliant outfield work. (Courtesy, shot by Evan Stichler).

At the plate, Tennessee has two day-to-day hitters batting over the .400 mark in Seniors Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson. Chavanne has amassed an eye-popping .443 average and has also hit three home runs–all while driving in 17 runs from the leadoff position AND all while only striking out five times this season. Raven is one of the biggest leaders on this experienced Lady Vols squad and part of Georgia’s keys to success will be finding a definitive way of keeping Raven off of the bases. She is such a tricky offensive player to defend because of her offensive versatility, although past Georgia teams have often had success in getting Raven to ground out to a pulled-in infield. Lauren Gibson is batting an equally impressive .422 average with 7 HR and 30 RBI, all while slugging a powerful .706 mark. Tennessee possesses a lot of speed and line drive power from 1-9 in their line-up, and despite their low home run totals, the Lady Vols have struck for power against some of the top pitchers in the country when the situation has called for it. Good defense, smart pitch calling, and keeping the ball low in the zone are going to be the main keys to finding success against a very potent Tennessee line-up.

Although Tennessee comes equipped with an offense that many coaches would love to have, the Lady Vols pride themselves on how dominant they are in the circle. The Renfroe Sisters, Ellen and Ivy, may be one of the most notable duo of softball pitchers in the entire country besides Jackie Traina and Keilani Ricketts. With an impressive 13-3 record, Ivy Renfroe leads this year’s Tennessee pitching staff with a 1.45 ERA, 86.2 innings pitched, and 92 strikeouts. Although her pitching statistics are pretty impressive all around, perhaps the key figure I noticed was that Ivy Renfroe has only given up two home runs in 86.2 innings pitched this season. This figure intrigues me since our Dawgs are the #1 home-run hitting team in the country to date. I hope we can inflate those numbers just a little bit, although it is going to require a lot of patience at the plate! Ivy Renfroe is complimented extremely well by younger sister Ellen Renfroe: Ellen has tallied a 1.50 earned run average to go along with a 9-1 record, all while fanning 108 batters in 93.1 innings pitched. Last year in Knoxville, Ellen was throwing a no-no with two outs in the top of the 7th inning when Senior Kristyn Sandberg drove a pitch high and deep over the left field wall to break up the bid. Georgia would go on to win this contest in 11 innings, despite dropping the second game of the double dip. If Ivy and Ellen get worn down early, it would not be surprising to see the two youngsters, Cheyanne Tarango (4-1, 1.67 ERA) or Erin Gabriel (5-1, 2.66 ERA), get thrown into the mix.

Ellen Renfroe and Ivy Renfroe are two the more recognized pitchers in the Southeastern Conference. (Courtesy

Tennessee is not only ranked as the 5th/6th team in the nation, but has amassed such a high ranking against some of the most potent competition in the country in 2013. Tennessee is coming fresh off a three-game sweep of the Texas A&M Aggies and four victories over Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee State, and Western Carolina.

I am extremely eager to see how our Bulldogs will do against Tennessee this weekend in the friendly confines of Jack Turner Stadium. At this point, the Arkansas series seems like a million miles away and I think the girls have regrouped their focus on playing some absolutely killer games against the Lady Vols this weekend. It is still such a great time to be a Georgia Bulldog! Keep on fighting, girls!

Everyone, try to make it out this weekend to Jack Turner Stadium in Athens to see a great SEC series! Admission, as always, is free and the promotions staff has started doing some really neat stuff for fans who come out and show their support. Parking is free, win tee shirts, enter dance contests, moon walks and basketball for younger fans, free UGA softball posters/pom poms/schedules–all to compliment a wonderful afternoon of softball!

Dont forget to catch the Bulldogs on their first LIVE national television appearance on Sunday as the ladies from Athens will be broadcasted on Fox SportSouth!

As always, Go Dawgs!

#BulldogsEatCreamsicles     #LickEmDawgs          #BeatTennessee               #CommitToTheG



Friday, April 5
• Georgia vs. No. 6/5 Tennessee – 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 6
• Georgia vs. No. 6/5 Tennessee – 4 p.m.

Sunday, April 7
• Georgia vs. No. 6/5 Tennessee – 1:07 p.m.

Other Information
• Live stats will be available at
• Live audio will be available online through GTV and locally on Fox News 1340 WGAU
• Live video will be available online for free through GTV (Friday and Saturday only)
• Sunday’s game will be televised on Fox SportSouth


Kaylee "Moose" Puailoa rounds the bases after blasting her first career grand slam against Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

Kaylee “Moose” Puailoa rounds the bases after blasting her first career grand slam against Georgia Tech on Wednesday. (Courtesy, shot by Evan Stichler)