No. 3 Georgia gets hot, defeats No. 20 Arkansas softball to force rubber match

Georgia's Sara Mosley (33) runs to first base during an NCAA softball game against North Carolina Central on Friday, May 19, 2023, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

No. 3 Georgia showed why it is considered one of the nation’s best offenses and evened the series with No. 20 Arkansas on Sunday in Athens, Ga.

The Razorbacks (25-9, 4-4 SEC) had trouble slowing down the Bulldogs’ bats and lost 8-2 to snap a four-game winning streak at Jack Turner Stadium. 

Georgia had not beaten Arkansas inside its home stadium since March 2018.

The loss set up a Monday night rubber match. Game 3 of the series will begin at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.

Georgia (29-5, 6-2) scored the game’s final seven runs Sunday to win in convincing fashion. The Bulldogs batted a collective .413, had 12 hits and drew 4 walks to keep pressure on the Razorbacks.

Arkansas sophomore right-hander Hannah Camenzind (8-1) suffered her first loss. She pitched 5 1/3 innings and threw 117 pitches against 32 batters faced. Camenzind gave up 11 hits, 8 runs (6 earned), struck out 2 and walked 4.

The Razorbacks trailed for the first time in the series when Jaydyn Goodwin hit an RBI single in the first inning to put the Bulldogs up 1-0.

Goodwin hit 3 for 4 with 4 RBI to lead the Bulldogs. She had two doubles and a single.

Arkansas took a short-lived, 2-1 lead in the second inning on a fielder’s choice grounder by Reagan Johnson, followed by an RBI single to left field by Raigan Kramer.

The single by Kramer was Arkansas’ final hit of the game. The Razorbacks were 3 for 23 with 2 walks and 2 hit batsmen.

Georgia reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the second on RBI singles from Sara Mosley and Jayda Kearney. It was a dominant day at the plate for Kearney, who went 4 for 4 to up her season average to .393.

The Bulldogs had another two-run inning in the fourth to grow their lead to 5-2. Georgia scored its runs on RBI doubles by Goodwin and Ellie Armistead.

Georgia put the game away with a three-run bottom of the sixth that gave it an 8-2 lead. The inning was highlighted by a two-run double from Goodwin.

Arkansas sophomore right-hander Nikki McGaffin pitched the final two outs for the Razorbacks. She threw 9 pitches and gave up 1 hit against 3 batters faced.

Georgia had a solid combined pitching performance from starter Madison Kerpics, who threw 83 pitches over the first 4 innings, and reliever Shelby Walters, who didn’t allow a hit over the final 3 innings.

The Bulldogs stranded five Arkansas base runners.

Arkansas will look to hand Georgia its first SEC series loss Monday. The Razorbacks have not lost consecutive games this year.