Georgia Softball wins SEC Title

The Georgia softball team clinched its first Southeastern Conference Title with a 12-4 six-inning win over No. 17 Alabama

ATHENS, Ga.-----It was seven years in the making as the No. 8 Georgia softball team clinched its first Southeastern Conference Title with a 12-4 six-inning win over No. 17 Alabama in front of 1,612 fans at the Women's Athletic Complex. Nicole Barber collected hit two home runs, 4 RBIs, and four runs scored in the Bulldog's winning effort.

The Bulldogs (54-10, 23-6) totaled two runs in the first inning to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Barber lead off the first with a walk and Katie Lewis reached base on a sacrifice bunt, moving Barber to second. Kim Wendland laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced both Barber and Lewis. With runners on second and third, Michelle Green laced a single into center field to score both runners.

The Crimson Tide responded for two runs in the top of the second inning after back-to-back solo home runs.

Georgia tallied two runs of its own in the second. Jade Jarvis reached first base after a wild pitch on a strikeout. Two batters later, Barber hit an opposite field two-run home run over the left field fence, putting the Bulldogs ahead 4-2.

Alabama scored two runs in the fourth inning after a two-run home run of the bat of Capper Reed that tied the game at 4-4.

The Bulldogs rallied for four runs in the fourth to take an 8-4 lead. Barber reached base on an error to start the inning and was advanced to second after Lewis' sacrifice bunt. Wendland plated Barber after an RBI single into center field. Shannon McKeon walked and Courtney Knight reached base on a fielder¹s choice, scoring Wendland from third and putting runners at first and second for Ashley Godfrey. With two strikes, Godfrey ripped a two RBI triple that scored both McKeon and Knight.

Amy Brannan reached first base on an error to begin the fifth inning. Three pitches later, Barber hit her second home run of the day, a two-run shot that cleared the trees in right field.

The Bulldogs entered the sixth and final inning with a 10-4 lead before scoring two runs to end the game. Knight laced a double off the top of the fence in center field with one out. Godfrey hit a walk-off home run of the center field fence to clinch the Bulldogs first SEC Championship.

Michelle Green collected her 37th win of the season after pitching the first four innings for the Bulldogs, scattering four runs on five hits, striking out one. Laurie Davidson came in-relief and threw two scoreless innings of work.

Godfrey's home run in the sixth inning marked her 10th of the season, a new school single season record. Also Barber¹s two-home run effort marked her first two-home run game of her career.

The Bulldogs will return to action Thursday night as the No. 1 seed of the SEC Tournament. Georgia will face the No. 8 seed in the first round of the tournament.

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