#13 Georgia Softball Preview

Georgia Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
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Coach Lu Harris-Champer returns 11 players from last year’s squad that finished with a record of 51-14 and 17-9 in the SEC and made the program’s tenth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Super Regionals. Georgia reached the 50-win plateau for the seventh time in school history and in the process set four school records: 434 runs, 390 RBIs, 238 walks and an on-base percentage of .418. The Bulldogs open their season February 10-13 in the fifth annual Red and Black Showcase featuring six teams.

2011: 51-14, 17-9
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lu Harris-Champer

Field Players:
Georgia lost eight seniors through graduation including leading hitter Megan Wiggins (.388), who became the 11th player in NCAA history to finish her career with 200 or more runs scored and 200 or more RBI. Returning for the Bulldogs is All-SEC selection, catcher Ashley Razey (.300); two-time SEC Freshman of the Week, pitcher Morgan Montemayor; and junior Kristyn Sandberg (.303), who earned national player of the week honors once last season. Also returning is second leading hitter a year ago, Ashley Pauly (.352). Georgia had a school record four players with 50 or more RBI with only one of them returning, Razey, who drove in 58 runs.

A couple Georgia pitchers return with Montemayor (27-5), who fanned 168 batters in 172.1 innings, leading the way. Senior Erin Arevalo (2-2, 3.28 ERA) also is back. Lost through graduation were Sarah McClouf (5-2) and Katie Murphy (2-0, 0.68 ERA). The transfer of Alison Owen (15-5) is a tough loss, but the Bulldogs have some more young players who are ready to step up.

Who To Watch:
Montemayor had an outstanding freshman season and her progress will determine what kind of year the Bulldogs will have. She beat 11 ranked opponents in 2011.

Final Projection:
The Bulldogs ranked 15th in team batting in 2011 with a .322 average and hit 97 homers, but they won’t have as much power this season because of the four power hitters lost through graduation who accounted for 57 of the homers. Returning players will have to pick up the slack if the Bulldogs are to earn their 11th NCAA Tourney appearance. Their pitching is solid with Montemayor, but they will need to find a consistent secondary starter.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Ashley Razer, C, 180
Hits:   Ashley Pauly, IF, 57
Home Runs:  Ashley Razer, C, 14
RBIs:  Ashley Razer, C, 58
Runs:  Ashley Pauly, IF, 34
Stolen Bases: Brittany Hubbard, IF, 10

Wins: Morgan Montemayor, P, 27
Innings Pitched: Morgan Montemayor, P, 172.1
Strikeouts: Morgan Montemayor, P, 168
Saves: Erin Arevalo, P, 1; Morgan Montemayor, P, 1