Auburn picked up a big victory over #12 UCLA yesterday in the first game of the WCWS to get things started off right. Now they'll face a very familiar foe in their second game in the winner's bracket.
The Tigers made things look relatively easy against the Bruins on the back of Kaylee Carlson's pitching and some key hits. It was a far cry from last year's dramatic 10 inning marathon. Georgia, meanwhile, defeated #8 Florida State 5-4. The Seminoles helped the Dawgs a bit with 7 errors, but make no mistake about it: UGA is a very good and very hot team right now.
These teams have already met once this season, with Auburn sweeping UGA at home. It wasn't an easy series, though, with Auburn needing a Kasey Cooper 3-run walk-off to win Game 1 in the 7th inning. Game 2 was a 15-2 run-rule victory, but Game 3 was another 1-run game that featured a late Auburn rally. That was part of some late season struggles for the Bulldogs, but they came on strong when it counted: in the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia, the #16 seed, won their regional 3-1, then traveled to Gainesville to take on the 2-time defending national champion #1 Florida Gators. They knocked off the defending champs in two games 3-0 and 3-2.
For the first time this post-season, we see a team with stats a bit better than Auburn's in one category. The Bulldogs have a better batting average. They have two batters above .400, as does Auburn, but really only appear to have one real power hitter, Tina Iosefa. Of course, that power hitter happens to lead the SEC in home runs with 23. Only one other Bulldog has double-digit home runs.
On the pitching side of the house, Georgia has three pitchers that they use, with Chelsea Wilkinson getting the overwhelming majority of innings. She has pitched 220 innings to Chelsea Gray's 110.1 and Kylie Bass' 72.2. Wilkinson pitched all 7 innings against Florida State Thursday morning, so I don't know that she'll be the first in the circle for the game against Auburn.
For Auburn, Kaylee Carlson pitched her second straight complete game following the Super Regional win against Arizona last weekend. It's more than likely that we'll see freshman Makayla Martin on the mound to start with.
There are no easy games at this point in the post-season, but this one will be particularly difficult as it's against a conference foe who will be looking for revenge and who knows the Tigers and their pitchers. They're also red hot and confident after knocking off the #1 and #8 teams already.
How to Watch:
Time: NO IDEA! When I published this the times were set. With the weather issues, I'm not sure when this game will be delayed to. However, it's probably going to be no earlier than Saturday. I'll update this as soon as I get a solid time.
UPDATE: The game will be played Saturday at 7pm Eastern / 6pm Central