Columbia, S.C.------The No. 25-ranked Georgia softball team earned its first NCAA tournament victory and head coach Lu Harris-Champer won her 300th game with a 2-1 win over Maryland-Baltimore County at Beckham Field on Thursday.
Georgia plays the winner of South Carolina vs. Eastern Kentucky on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
"It was a well-fought game," said Harris-Champer. "UMBC did a good and (pitcher Linsi) Moy kept us off balance. Our hitters did a good job of adjusting late in the game."
Harris-Champer's milestone win comes in her sixth season as a head coach. She is currently seventh on the NCAA's list for winningest active coaches with at least five years experience. Five of her six teams have reached NCAA tournament play and she is now 300-106 overall for a .739 winning percentage.
"It is more satisfying to get the win (than the No. 300). I don't care about the numbers," Harris-Champer said.
The first three batters reached base for UMBC in the top of the first inning and a Kristie Pickeral RBI single plated the first run of the game. Georgia answered in its half of the first with an unearned run. With Katie Lewis and Kim Wendland on base, Shannon McKeon drew a walk, but UMBC's catcher threw the ball into left field and Lewis crossed the plate to tie the score at 1-1.
UMBC starter Linsi Moy retired 13 Bulldog hitters in a row until Nicole Barber led off the top of the six with a walk. Barber stole second and third and scored on a Kristen Bell ground out for a 2-1 lead.
Lacey Gardner (21-9) held onto the one-run lead in the seventh to finish her complete-game win. The junior scattered six hits with four strikeouts and three walks. UMBC starter Linsi Moy (18-6) took the loss.
Eight of Georgia's last nine games have been decided by one run. The Dogs are 5-3 in those contests.
Wendland and Barber were named to the Louisville Slugger Southeast Region First Team today. This is Barber's second selection to the team. The only other Bulldog to be named to an All-Region team was Jessi Cerra (Second-Team All-Southeast Region) in 1998.