May 11, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Georgia Tech softball team is headed to its eighth ACC Championship game after a 9-1 thrashing of No. 19 Florida State Friday at Anderson Stadium. The Yellow Jackets combined for 11 hits on the day en route to the victory.
The loss ties FSU’s worst deficit of the season after falling 9-1 to Florida back on April 4 in a six-inning run rule game. Tech’s championship appearance will be just the second as the three seed, the last coming in 2007 in Tallahassee, Fla.
Hope Rush had a no-hitter going through 5.2 innings, but it was broken up by Maddie O’Brien on a single through the right side. Rush pitched six complete giving up no runs, just one hit and struck out three, all looking, during the game. She was also 2-for-3 on the day driving in one and scoring another. Kylie Kleinschmidtcame in to close out the game for the Jackets allowing FSU’s only run of the game.
“Her toughness and her mentality have really the tone for this team,” said Georgia Tech coach Sharon Perkinsabout Rush.
Kate Kuzmawas 3-for-4 on the day for the Jackets with a pair of RBIs and a run scored of her own. Nine different Jackets scored a run during the game.
“Whenever the team is battling at the plate like they are it make a lot easier, a lot more fun to watch, and a lot more fun to play,” continued Perkins.
The Jackets got off to a fast start once again putting four runs on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning. Rush started things off with a long single to right centerfield moving up to second on a single down the leftfield line by Shannon Bear.
Katie Johnskyfollowed with a chopper just in front of the plate and with no one covering to get Rush out at third, Briana Hamilton threw to first, but it was too late as Johnsky had already reached to load the bases. Hamilton’s throw was rushed, in the dirt and trickled down the rightfield line as all the runners moved up a bag and Rush came across to score the first run of the day.
With runners on second and third, pinch hitter Danielle Dike came up big once again for Tech ripping a two-RBI single through the left side of the field for her ninth and 10th pinch hit RBIs of the season to give the Jackets a 3-0 lead. Chelsie Thomas returned to the game to run for Dike and came around to score the fourth run of the inning on a single up the middle by Kelsi Weseman.
Tech added to its lead in the fifth inning when Kate Kuzmastarted things off taking an 0-2 pitch to to deep centerfield, her fifth homerun of the year to give the Jackets a 5-0 advantage.
Tech continued to pile on the runs putting four more on the board in the top of the seventh using four hits including a two RBI single by Karly Fullemwith the bases loaded to give Tech a 9-1 advantage heading to the final half inning of play.
FSU got on the board for the first time on the day using a sacrifice fly to right field to push Courtney Senas across. But that would be it for the Seminoles as they head home early from the ACC Championship at the hands of the Jackets
Tech will return to action tomorrow at 4 p.m. when they face the winner of the North Carolina/Virginia Tech game. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech have met twice previously in the title game. The Jackets won 1-0 in 2005, and the Hokies got revenge in 2007, 2-0.
Keep up to date with the Georgia Tech Softball team all season long at www.RamblinWreck.com as well as twitter.com/GaTechSoftball and facebook.com/GTSoftball.