Georgia softball's loss to Tennessee Saturday night was just a glitch, just a hurdle in a part of a bigger process. That much became clear after Sunday's 8-0 win (six innings) over No. 8 Tennessee to clinch a weekend series win.
After defeating the Vols 6-2 Saturday afternoon in the first leg of a doubleheader, the Bulldogs dropped a 7-6 heartbreaker to the higher-ranked Tennessee team in the second game. But Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer never lost faith in her squad.
"When we get out there and band together and fight, there are a lot of good things that happen for us," Harris-Champer said after Saturday's game.
Sunday, the Bulldogs proved their willingness to not only fight, but conquer, and their efforts were rewarded with a shutout win. The scoring started in the second inning when freshman Lacey Fincher hit a single to right field, advanced to second on a fielding error, stole third and scored on a two-run double down the line by Jordan Doggett.
After scoreless third and fourth innings, an RBI double from Alysen Febrey put Georgia ahead 3-0 in the fifth. The Bulldogs were inching closer to a series win, but with plenty of softball left to play, the Vols still had a chance. They needed a spark.
Instead, they gave up a grand slam.
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Georgia rolled into the sixth inning with a nearly perfect performance, starting with a walk, a single from Armistead and a single from Doggett. With the bases loaded and one out, Justice Milz then walked to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead. After an Alyssa DiCarlo line-out, Febrey became the hero. The junior hit a homer to right field to deliver Georgia an 8-0 victory via mercy rule, as well as the 2-1 series win.
Febrey finished 2-for-4 with five RBIs Sunday while Doggett was 3-for-3 with a pair of runs driven in. On the mound, Georgia's Kylie Bass (8-3) allowed four hits, one walk and one HBP in six innings. She struck out seven.
The win moves the No. 16 Bulldogs to 32-16 on the year. They'll face Georgia State on Wednesday before taking on conference foe South Carolina in a three-game weekend series.
Sunday's loss drops the Volunteers to 34-10 and puts them at risk of dropping out of the top 10 in the NFCA poll on Tuesday, right before the Vols' in-state battle with Tennessee State the following day.