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Post Softball Dawgs come back to beat Washington

Friday June 4, 2010

Georgia overcame a three-run deficit to beat defending national champion Washington 6-3 in their opening game of the 2010 Women’s College World Series Thursday night.

After Washington plated three runs in the bottom of the first, it looked as if this year’s WCWS opener would follow the same script as last year’s.  Erin Arevalo came in as a relief pitcher and settled things down on defense, but Georgia’s bats remained silent against All-American pitcher Danielle Lawrie.

The Bulldogs cracked the scoreboard in the fourth with a solo shot by Kristyn Sandberg, but they had to work out of a jam in the bottom half of the inning.  Arevalo shut the door, and the Huskies couldn’t add to their lead.  Georgia posted two more runs in the fifth thanks to a barrage of pesky singles and the speed of Taylor Schlopy on a force play at home.

It was fitting that Georgia’s hottest batter broke open the game in the sixth inning.  Megan Wiggins golfed a low pitch over the center field wall to provide the final margin. 

Freshman Allison Owen answered the bell in the final two innings.  With Arevalo struggling in the 6th, Owen entered the game and got out of a bases-loaded jam with a key strikeout.  Owen finished off the game by striking out the side in the seventh.

Georgia’s next opponent is another familiar foe.  Tennessee and Georgia split four games during the 2010 season, but Tennessee bounced the Dawgs from the SEC Tournament and is the most recent team to beat the Bulldogs.  Tennessee, like Georgia, is red-hot in the NCAA Tournament and has yet to lose a game.  They swept #2 seed Michigan on the road to get to the WCWS and destroyed Arizona 9-0 in their WCWS opener.

Georgia and Tennessee will play at 9:30 on Friday night (ESPN) with an important advantage at stake.  The winner will remain in the winner’s bracket, earn a day off on Saturday, and will only have to win one game on Sunday to advance to the championship series.  The loser will have to come back on Saturday and win that game and win twice on Sunday in order to advance. 

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