'Dogs Exit SEC Tourney with Loss to Georgia

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Georgia softball team (55-14) plated a pair of runs in three different innings with the help of six errors by Mississippi State (35-29) to post a 7-1 victory and eliminate the Maroon and White from the 2002 SEC Tournament Saturday afternoon in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Iyhia McMichael scored a run on a 2-for-3 hitting tally for Mississippi State, with teammate Lindsay Nelson adding an RBI on a 1-for-1 showing. Nicole Barber scored a pair of runs on a 3-for-4 clip to spark the Red and Black.

Mississippi State starter Melissa Massey (8-13) surrendered five runs (four unearned) on four Georgia hits in two and two-thirds innings to take the loss. Reliever Kasey Whitehead allowed four hits and two runs (one unearned) over the remainder of the contest. Nichole Urban (12-1) allowed one earned run on three hits for the Red and Black.

Georgia got out of the gates early, getting a leadoff double by Barber and a throwing error by leftfielder Krystal Tillman to move a runner to within 60 feet of home plate. After a failed suicide squeeze attempt with the next at-bat, Kim Wendland gave the Red and Black a one-run lead on an RBI groundout to second base. Georgia got a little more help from the Bulldog defense in the second, this time utilizing a leadoff double and a pair of miscues, including a muffed catch by the second baseman Nelson, to plate a pair of runs and take a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the frame.

State led off their half of the second with a hard double by McMichael through the legs of third baseman Kristen Bell, then Kate Jaspers moved the runner to third on a sac bunt. Nelson compensated for her miscue moments later on an RBI with a bunt single.

Georgia got its first two runners on in the third courtesy of an MSU fielding error and a bunt single, then put runners on the corners on Kristen Bell's fielder's choice. After a stolen base moved a pair of runners into scoring position for the Red and Black, Michelle Green laced a two-run single to centerfield to increase Georgia's advantage ut to 5-1 and chase Massey from the circle.

Georgia plated a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on a pair of hits and another Mississippi State error to provide the final score.

The Bulldogs will now await Selection Sunday when their postseason fate will be unveiled. The 2002 NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be broadcast live on ESPNews at 8 p.m. CDT.

Georgia 7, Mississippi State 1
#4 Georgia 122 002 0 - 7 8 1
#7 Mississippi State 010 000 0 - 1 3 6
Urban and McKeon; Massey, Whitehead (3) and Brown, Mosley (4). W - Urban (12-1). L - Massey (8-13). Save - None. 2B - Georgia, Barber, Green; Miss. State, McMichael. HBP - Georgia, Brannan (by Whitehead). SAC - Georgia, Lewis, Tyree; Miss. State, Jaspers.

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