Georgia defeats Florida, advances to softball College World Series

After the Bulldogs’ win against Florida on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium in Gainesville, FL / photo by Chris Kim/University of Florida
After the Bulldogs’ win against Florida on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium in Gainesville, FL / photo by Chris Kim/University of Florida

Credit: ChrisKim

Credit: ChrisKim

Georgia swept its Super Regionals series against Florida on Saturday to advance to the softball College World Series in Oklahoma City.

The Bulldogs defeated the host Gators 6-0 as starter Mary Wilson Avant pitched her second complete-game shutout in two days. On Saturday, she allowed four hits in her seven innings, with four strikeouts and one walk. On Friday, she limited Florida, the No. 4 seed, to three hits while striking out nine and walking two.

“Really proud of the team,” Georgia coach Lu Harris-Champer said. “I thought they played with a lot of synergy, lot of heart, lot of grit, lot of guts. Just the team, as a whole, banded together and got the job done.”

Jaiden Fields, Jayda Kearney and Sydney Kuma each hit home runs for Georgia (34-21).

Georgia built a 3-0 lead by scoring one run apiece in each of the first three innings and added three in the fifth.

“We’ve been practicing this whole time to get it done, get it done early,” Kuma said. “It helps (Avant) when we get those runs up early, takes some stress off of her back. We were determined, and we wanted to get our pitch, and when we saw our pitch, to get our swing off, and that’s what we did.”

Lacey Fincher drove home Savana Sikes with a single in the first inning. Fields hit a leadoff homer in the second, and Kearney hit a two-out homer in the third. Kuma drove in two runs with a homer in the fifth. Sydney Chambley’s single drove home Jacqui Switzer to end the scoring.

Kuma and Fincher led the Bulldogs in hits with two apiece.

The College World Series will begin Thursday, and the unseeded Bulldogs will face either Oklahoma State, the No. 5 seed, or Texas, the No. 12 seed. Georgia will make its fifth CWS appearance in program history.

“We are very dangerous at the point we’re at right now,” Avant said. “We’re playing with so much joy that we’re able to do what we want to do and attack the way we want to attack. As long as we keep playing with that joy and competitiveness, we can go really far.”

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