Florida-Georgia rivalry spills into NCAA Softball regionals
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Needing just two wins to move on to the Women’s College World Series, the No. 16 seed Georgia Bulldogs (43-18) will face No. 1 Florida (56-5) in a Thursday-Friday Super Regional matchup in Gainesville.
The Bulldogs and Gator will kickoff ESPN’s coverage of all eight Super Regionals, as the SEC rivals will meet at 7 p.m. ET Thursday night on ESPN2. Friday will be a 5 p.m. ET first pitch on ESPN2 with the if-necessary game following on ESPNU.
It will be the first time this season that the squads will play each other, as SEC Regular-Season Champion Florida took a weather-shortened series in 2015 in their last meeting. Georgia is appearing in its ninth Super Regional, looking to move on to Oklahoma City for the third time in program history and first time since 2010.
BULLDOGS EARN ATHENS REGIONAL CROWN
Georgia will make its third-consecutive NCAA Super Regional appearance after winning the Athens Regional on Sunday, making it the ninth time in program history to advance one step closer to the Women’s College World Series. The Bulldogs took down Maine and Northwestern in the opening day before needing two games against Oklahoma State for the crown.
All facets of the game were key for Georgia, as the offense hit .324 with 35 hits, including 12 going for extra bases. The pitching staff held opponents to a .190 average while striking out 38.
Individually, Tina Iosefa and Alyssa DiCarlo each had seven hits, leading the team while tied for the top spot among SEC teams with Texas A&M’s Tori Vidales. Iosefa’s three home runs over the weekend led all SEC players while DiCarlo’s three doubles tied for the most. In the circle, Chelsea Wilkinson handled most of the workload with 17 innings pitched, as her .119 opponent batting average and 26 strikeouts were second after comparing to other SEC pitchers in Regional action.
ALL-REGION HONORS ROLL IN FOR FOUR BULLDOGS
Postseason accolades continue to roll in for Georgia softball, as four Bulldogs received NFCA Southeast All-Region honors, an announced by the organization.
Outfielders Sydni Emanuel and Cortni Emanuel were each named to the second team while seniors Tina Iosefa and Chelsea Wilkinson earned third-team accolades. The Emanuels are All-Region selections for the second time as Bulldogs while Iosefa and Wilkinson are third-time honorees.
Georgia now holds 58 NFCA All-Region selections in program history, including 57 under 16-year head coach Lu Harris-Champer. In all, 28 Bulldogs have garnered the award.
IOSEFA TOPS GOLER AS RBI LEADER
With a team-best seven RBI in Regional games, Iosefa made her mark in Georgia and SEC history, tying then passing former Bulldog Alisa Goler for the most RBI in a single season. The nation’s leader in the stat, Iosefa holds 86 RBI this year, passing Goler’s 83 set in 2009. Many of Iosefa’s RBI have come off her SEC-best 23 home runs, including four grand slams. She is closing in on Alex Hugo’s school-best 25 home runs in a season as well as Hugo’s 56 and Goler’s 58 career home runs, as the first baseman now has 55.
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