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Arevalo, Georgia heading back to College World Series
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Sixth-seeded Georgia will meet with No. 3 Washington during the opening round of the NCAA Women’s College World Series Thursday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.

Georgia (48-11), ranked as high as fourth this season, clinched its second-ever WCWS berth with 7-0 and 11-0 victories over Cal last week in the NCAA Athens Super Regional.
Thursday’s contest will be a rematch of last year’s Final Four meeting in which then-freshman Erin Arevalo of Lathrop earned a win in relief.

She helped the Bulldogs stun Washington 9-8 and earned Player of the Game honors (four hits, no walks, one strikeout in four shutout innings) before the Huskies went to avenge their only 2009 WCWS loss 9-3 and later beat Florida in the national championship series.

Junior Sarah McCloud has been Georgia’s workhorse for the postseason, but Arevalo, a 2008 East Union High graduate and four-time Bulletin All-Area MVP, is playing a more prominent role in her sophomore campaign.

Arevalo is part of a three-headed pitching staff of standouts. She leads them all with 18 wins and six losses, 35 appearances, and 158 strikeouts in 157 2/3 innings. Her ERA currently stands at 2.49.

Arevalo was twice named the Southeastern Conference’s Pitcher of the Week, but the Bulldogs were upset 6-4 by Tennessee in the SEC Tournament opener. Arevalo did not factor into the decision, throwing 5 1/3 innings of relief while striking out six and giving up two runs.

Georgia coasted in the NCAA Regionals with wins over Elon (10-4), Florida State (5-2) and Radford (8-1). Arevalo started against Elon but lasted just two innings after yielding two earned runs and striking out three. She earned a two-inning save against Florida and worked a scoreless inning against Radford.

Georgia’s game against Washington (50-7) will be aired on ESPN2 and Thursday starting at 6:30 p.m.

Ryan Fisher in NCAA Regional

Arevalo isn’t the only East Union alum who is a part of a Division-I program in the postseason.

Redshirt junior Ryan Fisher and No. 21 UC Irvine opens the NCAA Los Angeles Regional against defending national champion LSU Friday. UC Irvine (37-19), seeded third for the regional tournament, is making its fifth straight appearance in the NCAA postseason and sixth in seven years.

Last year, UC Irvine was the No. 1 seed in its region and faced 2008 champion Fresno State in the opener. The Anteaters were eliminated by Virginia.

Fisher, who plays in the outfield and infield, has made 44 appearances and 35 starts for UC Irvine this year, posting a.305 batting average with three homers, 10 doubles, 16 RBIs, 20 runs, 36 hits and a .466 slugging percentage.

In his first two seasons, Fisher batted .310 overall with seven home runs and 65 RBIs in 97 appearances and 60 starts.

— Jonamar Jacinto