March 14, 2010
ATLANTA – The No. 11/8 Georgia Tech Softball team (22-3) hit eight home runs en route to wins over Georgia State (13-8), 7-1, and Mercer (14-11), 10-5, Sunday afternoon on the final day of the inaugural Springhill Suites Buckhead Classic. Freshman Caitlin Jordan and junior Kristine Priebe each hit two home runs for the Yellow Jackets, who now have 54 in 25 games this season.
Sophomore Kelsi Weseman went 4-for-7 with two doubles and a three-run home run for Tech. Jordan had three hits, including her third and fourth round-trippers of the season, as well as four RBI, while senior Kelly Eppinger, freshman Hope Rush, Priebe, Sinclair and sophomore Kate Kuzma all had multi-hit games for the Jackets as well.
Sophomore Jessica Coan picked up the win in game one to improve to 7-0 on the season. She allowed just one Georgia State run on two hits. She did not walk a batter and struck out a career-high 12. Rush (10-3) got the win against the Bears as she gave up one run on four hits in six innings. She walked one and struck out four. Junior Kristen Adkins pitched one inning against Mercer and was charged with four runs on three hits and two walks.
The Jackets jumped out quickly on Georgia State with three runs in the first inning. Kuzma, leading off for the first time this season, hit a home run to get the inning going. It was her fourth of the season. Later in the inning, Priebe hit a two-run homer to put the Jackets up 3-0. Weseman, who singled earlier in the inning, scored ahead of Priebe’s second home run of the season.
It remained 3-0 until the third inning when the Jackets used the long ball to make it a 6-0 game. With Priebe and Rush aboard, Jordan hit her third home run of the season, a three-run shot to left-center field.
After Georgia State struck for a run in the top of the fourth inning on a Lauren Jones solo home run, Rush gave the Jackets a 7-1 advantage with a solo shot to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was Rush’s ninth home run of the year.
That would be more than enough for Coan as she continued to mow down Panthers en route to her career-high 12 strikeouts. Coan retired 11 of the final 12 batters, including seven strikeouts, to remain unbeaten on the season.
In game two against Mercer, the Jackets again scored quickly in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Kuzma reached on an error to begin the game and scored when Weseman ripped a double into the left-center field gap. Later in the inning Weseman scored on an error as redshirt senior Jen Yee stole second base and the catcher Brandy Keeter’s throw went into center field.
Mercer starting pitcher Jenni Holtz settled down after that first inning and began to mow down the Yellow Jackets. She had eight strikeouts through three innings until Tech made it a 4-0 game with two runs in the fourth. Jordan hit a solo home run to left field, her fourth of the season, and then Kuzma added a RBI single later in the inning.
Mercer got one of the runs back against Rush in the bottom of the fifth, but a four-run sixth inning for Tech appeared to put the game away. Sophomore Shannon Bear had a RBI singe in the inning, but the big blow was a three-run home run to right field off the bat of Weseman. It was her fifth round-tripper on the season.
Mercer would not go down without a fight as it plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against Adkins, who began the inning in relief of Rush. The big blow was a three-run home run by Lilli Luke. Sara Stukes also followed with a solo home run.
The Jackets scored two more times in the top of the seventh inning as both Priebe and Sinclair went deep against the new Mercer pitcher, Jessie Holmes.
Rush came back into the game and worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning to preserve the win.
The Yellow Jackets close out their mini homestand on Wednesday, March 17, by hosting Georgia Southern for a doubleheader at Mewborn Field. First pitch in game one is set for 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WREK, 91.1 FM in Atlanta, while live video, audio and stats are available at www.RamblinWreck.com.