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Georgia softball aims to heat up in Minnesota, survive for Super Regionals

Georgia softball aims to heat up in Minnesota, survive for Super Regionals

The No. 14-ranked Georgia softball team hopes to heat up along with the weather in Minneapolis in NCAA regional action on Monday. The Bulldogs (41-18) are scheduled to resume play at 10 a.m. Monday batting in the top of the fifth inning with runners on first and second and one out leading Drake   4-2 in an elimination game. The game was suspended on Saturday night and rain on Sunday pushed back the resumption of play to Monday. If Georgia holds on to beat Drake (43-15), it advances to play host Minnesota at noon. The NCAA tournament No. 7-seed Golden Gophers beat the Bulldogs last Friday by a 2-1 count in eight innings, rallying from 1-0 down in the bottom of the seventh inning. RELATED: Minnesota cools off Georgia in extra innings The Bulldogs would have to beat the Golden Gophers twice on Monday to advance to Super Regional play, where they’d travel to play LSU. All 13 SEC softball teams made the NCAA tournament (Vanderbilt does not have a team). Six of those league teams have advanced to NCAA Super Regional play. Georgia is in the only regional where all four teams had 40 regular-season wins, and the Bulldogs have also been battling the elements. UGA opened the tournament last Thursday beating Drake 6-4 on Ciara Bryan’s walk-off home run. WATCH: Ciara Bryan lifts Georgia with a blast over the fence! Temperatures dropped int0 the 40s when UGA played Minnesota last Friday, adding to the Golden Gophers home field advantage. Temperatures on Monday are expected to rise from the 30s into the 60s.       The post Georgia softball aims to heat up in Minnesota, survive for Super Regionals appeared first on DawgNation.

Georgia football called ‘bogeyman,’ giving SEC East opponent case of the blues

Georgia football called ‘bogeyman,’ giving SEC East opponent case of the blues

Kentucky is taking aim at Georgia football this season with hopes of ending a streak of futility, according to a recent Lexington Herald Leader story. The Bulldogs have dominated the SEC East Division the past two seasons. None of the East teams have managed to stay within single digits on the scoreboard by the conclusion of games against UGA in 2017 or 2018. RELATED: Georgia’s march to SEC Championship Game goes through Kentucky The Wildcats, as noted by Lexington Herald Leader reporter Mark Story, have a nine-game losing streak to Georgia, which he refers to as UK’s ‘bogeyman’ Kentucky has recently broken notable losing streaks to Steve Spurrier-coached teams (17 games, 2010), Tennessee (26 games, 2011) and last season in Dan Mullen’s first season coaching Florida, the Gators (31 games). Last year’s Kentucky team was confident it would end the streak against Georgia. UK was practically celebrating before playing UGA, taking out an ad in Times Square while rejecting the underdog role. RELATED: Confident Kentucky ready for UGA challenge at Kroger Field “The days of us being an underdog team are over,” UK tailback Benny Snell had said in the days leading up to the game. Georgia, of course, won the game and the Wildcats’ reality has set in this offseason. Story writes: “Of all the good works Stoops has done at UK, the Kentucky head man is 0-6 against the Bulldogs. Other than a 27-24 loss to Georgia in Lexington in 2016 during Kirby Smart’s first season after replacing Mark Richt  as Bulldogs coach, none of the games have been close. Under Stoops, UK’s other five losing margins against Georgia have been 42, 32, 24, 29 and 17 points.” Of course, this is why reports that Smart had offered Eddie Gran the offensive coordinator position once Jim Chaney left for Tennessee this offseason were suspect. After all, Kentucky’s offense ranked 103rd in the nation in total offense — well behind Georgia (18th). DawgNation learned that while a position on the staff was discussed, it was not to become the offensive coordinator, and no job was offered. RELATED: UGA did not offer Gran coordinator or position coach duties Meanwhile, it only made sense Gran would leverage his interview with Smart for a pay raise at Kentucky. If his athletic director and fan base believed Smart would hire him to be Georgia’s OC, all the better for him. But Smart had worked hard to keep James Coley in the fold as assistant offensive coordinator the season before, paying him $850,000. RELATED: James Coley puts his spin on Georgia football offense Coley was quickly elevated to offensive coordinator the same week Chaney left for the Vols, getting a $100,000 salary bump to $950,000. Georgia plays host to Kentucky in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 19 this season. The Bulldogs bring a four-game win streak against South Carolina into this season, and a three-game win streak against Missouri.       The post Georgia football called ‘bogeyman,’ giving SEC East opponent case of the blues appeared first on DawgNation.

Astros on a tear despite absence of Altuve

Astros on a tear despite absence of Altuve

Take away George Springer and Jose Altuve, and maybe the Houston Astros start to look a little more beatable. Maybe. The Boston Red Sox finally snapped Houston's 10-game winning streak Sunday with a 4-3 victory after Springer left the game with lower back stiffness. The Astros were already playing without Altuve, on the injured list with a strained left hamstring, but that injury did little to slow Houston. Even after Sunday's loss, the Astros have the best record and best run differential in the major leagues. They lead the AL West by 8 ½ games. Altuve hasn't played since May 10, so Houston's recent torrid stretch took place largely without him. That's a scary thought for the rest of the American League. In their first four games without their star second baseman, the Astros scored 45 runs against the Rangers and Tigers. 'Our guys are seeing the ball really well and making it tough on them,' Houston manager AJ Hinch said while the Astros were in Detroit. 'Driving the pitch counts through the roof.' The Astros lead the major leagues in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Springer and Alex Bregman are 1-2 in the AL in homers, and Springer is the league's RBI leader. Houston has four of the AL's top 10 hitters in OPS (Springer, Bregman, Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley) and three of the top six in batting average (Josh Reddick, Brantley and Springer). Players such as Robinson Chirinos and Jake Marisnick are contributing as well. 'We knew we had built an offense that was very deep and very long, and a lineup that was tough to get through,' Hinch said. 'In a long year, you're going to need contributions from everybody.' With a pitching staff that includes Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, the Astros look as well-rounded as any team in the game. Even the bullpen is making news, with Ryan Pressly setting a record Friday with his 39th consecutive scoreless appearance. With a 10-game homestand starting Monday, Houston has a chance to turn the division race into a rout after winning it by six games last year and by 21 in 2017. Elsewhere around the majors: ANOTHER ACE? Starting pitching depth has been a strength for the Dodgers for a while, and it's been on full display this year. Clayton Kershaw's efforts (3-0 with a 3.40 ERA) have actually been overshadowed by what teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu is doing. Ryu is 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA, and he has a 31-inning shutout streak after pitching seven innings Sunday in a win over Cincinnati. HIGHLIGHT Like last year, Bryce Harper is combining an unimpressive batting average (.235) with very impressive power. Harper connected for a 466-foot home run in Philadelphia's 2-1 win over Colorado on Saturday. LINE OF THE WEEK Boston's Chris Sale struck out 17 against Colorado on Tuesday night, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to fan that many in a start of no more than seven innings. He gave up three hits in seven innings and left with a 3-2 lead, but the Rockies went on to win 5-4 in 11. Honorable mention: Kris Bryant of the Cubs hit three homers in a win at Washington on Friday night. Cleveland's Shane Bieber struck out 15 with no walks while shutting out Baltimore on Sunday. ___ Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports