Athens, GA -- The No. 10 overall seed University of Georgia softball team used early runs in the first three innings to pull out a 3-2 win over North Carolina Saturday afternoon in the Athens Regional at Jack Turner Stadium.
The win moves Georgia to Sunday’s games with a chance to be named Regional Champions while putting them at 43-15 on the season. With its first loss of the weekend, UNC’s record holds at 42-13, and the Tar Heels will play again on Saturday to keep their season alive.
Senior Erin Arevalo (25-7) took her second win of the weekend, as she gave up two hits and no earned runs. The California native also posted five strikeouts. UNC’s Lori Spingola (32-11) took the loss after giving up two earned runs and eight hits while striking out eight.
Senior Ashley Pauly and junior Tess Sito tallied two hits apiece, as both were 2-for-4 at the plate with Pauly also getting a run. Freshman Paige Wilson and senior Kristyn Sandberg collected the team’s two RBI.
Georgia jumped ahead to an early 2-0 lead in the top first. Pauly laid down a bunt single before advancing to second on a Tar Heel error. Wilson followed with a RBI-double off the center field wall before the second UNC error of the inning on Sandberg’s at-bat allowed Wilson to score.
Sandberg extended Georgia’s lead to 3-0 in the third with her 19th home run of the season with a solo shot beyond the left center field wall.
UNC climbed on the board in the bottom fifth to set the score at 3-2. After a Amber Parrish walk, Tisha Mahon came in as a pinch runner to steal second and advance to third on a dropped third strike. Mahon put up the Tar Heels’ first run after Constance Orr reached on a fielding error. Chelsey Butler then came in for Orr to steal second before putting the last run on the board from a Kelli Wheeler single through the right side.
Georgia takes the field on Sunday at noon to face the winner of game five in the Athens Regional. If Georgia falls in Sunday’s first game, it will play a game immediately following the first decide the Regional champion.