Junior shortstop Alyssa DiCarlo hit three, two-run home runs in seventh-ranked Georgia softball’s 12-0 six-inning shutout of Northwestern (37-18) Saturday afternoon at Jack Turner Stadium. The Bulldogs (45-11) advance to play Sunday at noon for a berth to the NCAA Super Regional.
DiCarlo finished the day 4-for-4 with six RBI and four runs scored. Her three home runs and four runs scored sets a new career best while her hits and RBI ties career highs. She tied the school record for single-game home runs set by Geri Ann Glasco against South Carolina in Apr. 2013. The mark is a new NCAA Tournament best at Georgia; she is only the fourth player in the history of the NCAA Tournament to hit three home runs in a single game. Her six RBI also ties Georgia’s NCAA Tournament record. The Glendale, Arizona native now has 19 home runs in 2018, tying for fifth in a single-season. Her 43 career home runs now rank tied for seventh all-time.
Georgia outhit the Wildcats 11-6. Cortni Emanuel and Justice Milz each had two-hit games. Milz had two RBI while Mahlena O’Neal drove in three on a bases-loaded double in the third. Emanuel also recorded her 50th stolen base of the season.
After a successful game in the circle on Friday, Mary Wilson Avant pitched three scoreless innings in her start, holding the Wildcats to a single hit. Kylie Bass (14-3) earned the win in relief, pitching one and two-thirds innings.
Georgia jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning when DiCarlo blasted her 17th home run of the season, a two-run shot, to straight-away centerfield. With bases full of Bulldogs in the top of the third, O’Neal laced a bases-clearing double to right center, widening the lead to 5-0 on the Wildcats.
DiCarlo’s second two-run home run of the game put Georgia ahead 7-0 in the top of the fifth, nothing her fourth multi-home run game this season.
The Bulldogs wrapped up the offensive performance with five, sixth-inning runs. The scoring started with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ciara Bryan. Milz followed with a two-RBI base hit and the inning was capped with DiCarlo’s third, two-run blast into the pines, 12-0. Keara Napoli pitched the sixth and final inning for Georgia.
“I am really proud of our team for coming out and putting runs on the board. I think we played an incredible game today, we stayed really focused,” Champer says. “Alyssa [DiCarlo] had an incredible day at the plate today. The way she batted is the stuff you read in stories; she just kept doing her thing effortlessly. We had the opportunity to separate ourselves, and I think Mahlena [O’Neal] was a huge factor in us accomplishing that today. She did everything we’ve practiced. Justice [Milz] had a great at-bat today and I’m also so proud of our defense.”