April 25, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama could not secure the series win over Georgia Friday night, as the Bulldogs built a sizeable early lead and held on to defeat the Crimson Tide, 10-2, in six innings.
The 10 runs are the most given up by Alabama (41-9, 16-4 SEC) this season, as Georgia (39-11, 12-8 SEC) used a seven-run third inning to take the early momentum. Molly Fichtner earned the team's lone RBI off a fourth-inning home run, while Leslie Jury (14-6) took the loss in the circle and Geri Ann Glasco (15-4) earned the complete-game win for Georgia.
Georgia struck first in the top of the third, loading the bases with one away as a groundout brought one home and moved two into scoring position. Alex Hugo was intentionally walked to load the bases and Tina Iosefa drove in a pair in the next at-bat with a single into center field, making it a 3-0 ballgame. Kaylee Puailoa broke it wide open with a grand slam to right field and Anna Swafford followed that with a solo shot to stretch the lead to 7-0 with still just one out in the inning. A pair of groundouts stopped the bleeding and ended the inning, though the Tide was in a big 7-0 hole.
Alabama avoided the shutout in the bottom-half of the inning as Haylie McCleney hit a two-out double and Andrea Hawkins hit a hard single to the pitcher, who made an errant throw to first that allowed McCleney to score and Hawkins to move to second. Kaila Hunt would reach on a fielding error but a long fly ball would end the inning with Alabama trailing, 7-1.
The Bulldogs added more cushion to their lead in the top of the fourth, as Iosefa hit a two-run double down the left-field line, stretching the lead to 9-1. Fichtner made it a 9-2 game leading off the bottom of the fourth, hitting a solo home run to left field. Georgia pulled ahead by eight thanks to a bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning as Sydney Littlejohn entered to pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. Kallie Case made a diving catch in foul territory to end the half-inning, but Alabama was unable to score in the bottom-half of the inning as Georgia held on for the run-rule victory.
The series finale is set for an 11 a.m. CT start on Saturday, April 24. The game will be aired live on ESPNU with Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza calling the action.