Huge Fifth Inning Sends Jackets Past Owls, 8-0

April 23, 2014

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THE FLATS – Senior Ashley Thomas hit a two-run walk-off home run to cap off a seven-run fifth inning and lead the Georgia Tech softball team to an 8-0 run-rule victory Wednesday against the Kennesaw State Owls in the Yellow Jackets’ final home game of 2014. The Jackets improved to 23-20 on the season, while the Owls fell to 22-26 overall.

“It was a great day for us,” head coach Shelly Hoerner said. “Sending our seniors off with a win on our home field, you don’t want anything more than that. I’m really proud of the team, they fought hard. Kennesaw State was pitching a great game against us, but we got that leadoff single by Hayley Downs and the hitting was contagious.”

Ashley Thomas went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs, while senior Alysha Rudnik was 2-for-3 with a run. Freshman Samantha Pierannunzi extended her hitting streak to 12 games, going 2-for-3 with an RBI that scored Ashley Thomas in the opening frame.

Hayley Downs’ single into shallow centerfield sparked the seven-run inning as the Jackets tallied seven hits in the frame and 11 in the game.

Rudnik singled Downs to third and Kanani Cabrales ripped a shot through the right side to plate Downs. With two outs, Katie Johnsky kept the Tech bats alive with a two-RBI single up the middle, giving the Jackets a 4-0 lead.

Karly Fullem and Maddie Lionberger hit back-to-back doubles to bring in two additional runs and to set the stage for Ashley Thomas.

With Lionberger on second and two outs, Ashley Thomas roped a first-pitch offering over the leftfield wall for her eighth home run of the year.

Kylie Kleinschmidt (15-11) earned the win and pitched a one-hit shutout. She fanned nine Kennesaw State batters in her third shutout of the season.

Kennesaw State starter Paige Mathews (4-13) suffered the loss, scattering 11 hits with eight runs and two walks.

The Yellow Jackets are back in action April 26-27 at No. 6 Florida State for their final ACC regular season series. Saturday’s doubleheader in Tallahassee, Fla. begins at 5 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale is slated for 12 p.m. 


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