COLUMBIA, Mo. – With a 1-0 shutout of Missouri, eighth-ranked Georgia softball recorded its 1,000th program victory Friday to open Southeastern Conference play.
The pitching staff earned the 14th shutout of the season, allowing just two hits to the Tigers. Mary Wilson Avant (6-1) pitched four scoreless innings in her start in the circle for Georgia, allowing just two hits and no walks while earning four strikeouts. Lauren Mathis earned her second save, pitching the final three innings, not surrendering any hits.
“I thought the staff had a really good game plan coming in and they went out there and just did their thing,” said head coach Lu Harris-Champer. “Along with Mahlena O’Neal behind the plate, I’m really proud of our battery today. Rachele Fico calls a great game and was really on point with her pitch calling today.”
At the plate, Georgia scattered four hits, two of which came from freshman Lacey Fincher. Justice Milz and Mahlena O’Neal had Georgia’s other two hits.
“I’m really proud of our fight,” Harris-Champer added. “Our team fought their hearts out today. It didn’t go exactly as we planned but we kept scrapping and fighting and found a way to get the job done.”
Georgia becomes the fifth Division I program competing since 1996 to record 1,000 program victories. 885 of Georgia’s wins have come under Harris-Champer.
“It means a lot for all the players who have been through the program through the years. In 23 years of our program, this is pretty cool and very special and it means a lot to be a part of this.”
The game went scoreless through four complete innings despite both teams leaving a combined 10 runners on base. Georgia broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth. Alyssa DiCarlo plugged the right-center gap with a two-out double. A fielding error by the first baseman allowed Fincher to reach and DiCarlo to score on the play, putting Georgia ahead 1-0 in the top of the fifth. The run would stand as the lone run of the game.
DiCarlo’s double in the fifth was the 50th of her career. She now ranks fifth all-time at Georgia.
Mathis entered with Georgia’s new 1-0 lead and shut out the Tigers en route to the Bulldog victory.
Georgia and Missouri face off in game two of the series Saturday at 3 p.m., ET.