Missouri scored 23 runs in its Southeastern Conference-opening series against Georgia. Of those, only six were earned, with the Tigers profiting heavily off of UGA’s errors.
That stat set up a rather ironic conclusion to the series, as it was the Bulldogs who ended up winning in walk-off fashion Sunday, on a throwing error on a play at home, making the final run an unearned one.
UGA defeated the Tigers 8-7 to take the series 2-1.
The pitching matchup was the same as the first game of the series: Mary Wilson Avant against Jordan Weber.
Weber handled the UGA bats well in the first matchup, while the Tigers got the better of Avant, winning 6-1 Friday, but the roles were reversed in the rematch.
Weber made it to the third before the Georgia found her. She gave up a homer to Sydney Kuma before walking Savana Sikes and giving up another homer to Lacey Fincher. That gave UGA’s leading hitter her fourth and fifth RBI of the series and put the Bulldogs up 3-2 at the time. Weber was lifted after the Fincher homer in favor of Laurin Krings.
Avant, meanwhile, pitched a complete game. The Georgia defense cut down on the errors that had plagued it the last couple games, but the ones it did commit were costly. The last of the day by Sikes allowed Alex Honnold to reach and Missouri to tie the game at 7 in the top of the seventh. UGA got the last laugh, however.
With Emma Nichols in the circle for the Tigers, the Bulldogs had Sara Mosley reach on a fielding error by Jenna Laird, before a one-out double from Sydney Chambley moved her to third. Jayda Kearney then grounded to Kimberly Wert, who attempted to cut Mosley down at home, but the throw was off target.
That gave the Bulldogs their first and only unearned run of the series and the series win.
For their part, both Wert and Laird were key contributors to the offensive effort . The pair combined for half of Missouri’s 10 hits and five of the seven RBI, including Wert’s 10th home run of the season. Brooke Wilmes also went 2-4 in the leadoff role, scoring one of those times.
From a pitching standpoint, Krings’ recent struggles in the circle continued. She has not had a shutout appearance of any length since Feb. 28 against Middle Tennessee. In the series against Georgia, she made two appearances, giving up eight runs in just one total innings. With the brutal schedule the SEC brings, she will be hoping to get back into a groove sooner rather than later.