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Post Softball flips the switch to postseason mode

Monday May 23, 2011

Much has been expected of Georgia’s softball senior class since they stormed into the WCWS in 2009 and followed it up with a repeat visit a year ago. It was no surprise to see them as one of the top-rated teams entering this season, and they even rose to the #1 spot in the polls midseason.

The regular season didn’t end quite the way they wanted. Georgia fell from that #1 perch and actually entered the conference tournament as the fifth seed. They lost five of their last ten regular season games including three consecutive SEC losses in early May. They bounced back with solid wins over LSU and Alabama in the SEC Tournament, but they couldn’t hold a four-run lead in the SEC Tournament title game. Even though they struggled a bit at the end and slid in the SEC standings, their overall body of work was more than enough to earn them the #6 national seed heading into the postseason.

The team reminded us over the weekend that they remembered how to play in the postseason. Georgia came within a late UAB run of winning each of their three games in the regional by the eight-run mercy rule. They did it with good offensive balance on Friday, use the home run on Saturday, and jumped on FSU mistakes on Sunday to score at least 8 runs in each game. That’s the same FSU team that won the ACC Tournament a week ago, and they couldn’t last but six innings with this experienced Georgia team.

Georgia’s dominance of the regional isn’t a new development. They’ve now won 12 straight regional games in Athens. The ownership of their home field has continued into the super regionals; they’ve advanced to Oklahoma City in each of the past two seasons with a pair of super regional sweeps. They’re hoping that trend continues when #11 Baylor comes to Athens for this year’s best-of-three super regional series.

Are there things to work on as they advance? Sure. Chief among them is fielding. Some costly errors in the field might have denied Georgia an SEC Tournament championship. Sloppy fielding also contributed to UAB’s meager scoring that extended Saturday’s game. It might seem a nitpicky point from such a dominant and successful weekend, but paying attention to even the smallest of details starts to matter as the competition becomes more difficult from here on and scoring margins narrow.

One area to watch as the games tighten up is pitching. Georgia’s top hurler is a freshman – Morgan Montemayor. She’s been outstanding with a 26-3 record and 1.89 ERA. She admitted that the postseason is “kind of nerve-wracking”, but you wouldn’t know it from the results – Montemayor allowed only four runs in 16 innings over the weekend. A year through the SEC has given her plenty of experience against top teams, and that’s all she’ll face the rest of the way.

One Response to 'Softball flips the switch to postseason mode'

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  • You’re the only UGA blogger talking ab the Lady Softball Dawgs. Thank you! Wish/Hope more bloggers follow suit.

    Yeah we were at home & Athens is good to the Lady Dawgs, but we trucked every opponent in a way i haven’t seen since the beginning of the season. THere were a few miscues, but nothing that has me worried. They’ve rebounded form a slight slump & are carrying great momentum headed into another possible CWS appearance. If they make it, this may be the year. Regardless, these girls are tough as nails, super aggressive & fun to watch. Lu Harris-Champer is probably my fave Coach on campus for good reason. Go Lady Dawgs!!