ATHENS, Ga. – No. 18 Georgia utilized a two-hit shutout by pitching staff ace Mary Wilson Avant to record a 3-0 victory over East Carolina in the opener of the UGA Classic Friday evening at Turner Softball Stadium.

The Pirates dropped their fifth straight to fall to 9-7 overall while the Bulldogs improve to 16-2.

Jaiden Fields rapped out a pair of hits and Savana Sikes dealt the decisive blow via a two-run home run to lift the home side. Rachel McCollum and Taylor Woodring accounted for both of ECU’s base knocks.

Avant (9-0) turned in a crisp effort in the circle, racking up 11 strikeouts against just one walk and scattering the two singles. Kama Woodall (4-3) hung with her counterpart for the duration, also tossing a complete game while allowing three runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

Georgia got the scoring started in the bottom of the third. Woodall looked to exit the inning with ease, recording two quick outs. However, an infield single kept the frame alive, and Sikes cleared the wall on a 1-1 pitch to put the Bulldogs in front, 2-0.

Consecutive singles with one out saw Georgia threaten again in the bottom of the fourth. Woodall fanned Sydney Chambley for the second out but could not retire Payden Bordeau who delivered an RBI single to extend her team’s lead to 3-0.

The Pirates put forth their best scoring chance in the top of the sixth. Sophie Wools reached on an error before Woodring singled to short. Following a pair of strikeouts, the runners moved into scoring position thanks to a wild pitch, but a ground ball back to first terminated the frame.

McCollum attempted to spark a rally in the top of the seventh, depositing a leadoff single into center. However, Avant fought back and retired the next three ECU batters to end the contest.

Up Next: East Carolina returns to Turner Softball Stadium Saturday for a pair of games against Georgia (11:30 a.m.) and North Dakota (6 p.m.).