March 5, 2008
ATLANTA – Virginia (6-11, 2-0 ACC) swept a doubleheader from Georgia Tech (6-14, 0-2) 8-3 and 2-1 Wednesday afternoon in the ACC and home opener at Glenn Field. Senior Aileen Morales had three hits for Tech on the day while senior Brittany Barnes hit her team-high fourth home run of the season. These two teams will play the runner game of their three-game series Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
In the third, Virginia struck for five runs on just two hits. It had runners at second and third with one out before senior pitcher Whitney Humphreys struck out Lindsey Preuss for the inning’s second out. Huimphreys then hit a batter to load the bases and a four-pitch walk to Carly Winger forced home the game’s first run. It also knocked Humphreys out of the game. Freshman Stephanie Morris came in and gave up a grand slam to Sara Tacke on a 2-2 pitch to dead center field. Morris got the next batter to ground out, but the damage had been done as Virginia took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning.
The Jackets got two of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth as they finally started getting good contact off Virginia pitcher Karla Wilburn. Junior Whitney Haller singled with one out and moved to second base two batters later on a Savannah Brown double into left-centerfield. Freshman Jessica Weaver then roped a line drive into centerfield that drove home both Haller and Brown cutting the UVA lead to 5-2.
Virginia got three more runs off Morris in the fifth thanks to a couple more walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch. It was 8-2 with runners on second and third when Humphreys came back in the game. She was able to get a strikeout and ground out to end the inning, but the Jackets were left with a lot of work to do in three innings.
After a walk and an error, Tech had two on with one out in the sixth, but could not score. Humphreys, meanwhile, settled down and got through the last 2.2 innings so the Jackets came up for their final at bat in the seventh trailing by seven runs.
Tech scored once in the final frame on a Morales RBI double with two outs, but the Jackets ended up falling 8-3. Humphreys (2-6) took the loss. She allowed four earned runs on four hits and four walks in 5.1 innings. She had five strikeouts. Morris gave up four earned runs on four hits and three walks with one strikeout. For Virginia, Wilburn earned the complete-game victory as she gave up eight hits and three earned runs while walking one and fanning four.
Game two was a pitcher’s duel won by the Cavaliers. UVA got on the board first when Kelly Haller led off the second inning with a solo home run over the fence in left field.
Tech junior Tiffany Johnson held the Cavaliers in check until they scratched across another run in the fifth. Meghan O’Leary singled to left driving in the eventual winning run. She was on third base with one out, but Johnson was able to get out of the jam and keep the Jackets within striking distance down 2-0.
Senior Stephanie Butler had Tech’s first hit of the game in the third as she legged out an infield single and then went to second base when the Virginia defense fell asleep. UVA pitcher Whitney Holstun was able to get Morales to hit into a 5-3-6 double-play to end the inning.
Senior Brittany Barnes led off the fifth inning with a solo home run cutting the Cavalier’s lead to 2-1. It was her team-high fourth home run of the season, but that would be the end of the scoring on the day.
Morales singled with one out in the sixth to knock Holstun from the game. Game one starter Karla Wilburn came in and Morales took off for second base on the first pitch Wilburn threw. She slid in easily, but was called out for leaving early. Wilburn retired the final four Tech batters to end the game.
Johnson (2-4) was the hard-luck loser despite giving up just two earned runs on seven hits and no walks. She struck out four batters.
These two teams conclude their three-game series with a single game tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Glenn Field. The Yellow Jackets will then host the Buzz Classic this weekend at the Twin Creeks Complex in Woodstock, Ga. Tech will face Minnesota, Elon, Mercer and Western Michigan in pool play Friday and Saturday while bracket play takes place on Sunday. Every Georgia Tech softball game will have live stats via Gametracker at www.ramblinwreck.com.