Feb. 26, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Using six hits, including a 2-for-4 effort by Alysha Rudnik, the Georgia Tech softball team finished out its time at the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a 6-0 shutout victory over Illinois State (7-7). Both of Rudnik’s hits went for doubles, and drove in a couple of runners.
Rush was masterful inside the circle as well as at the plate for Tech who improved to 8-7 with the win. The junior pitched 7.0 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out a season high six batters. Rush also went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double to left center and a bases loaded walk.
The Yellow Jackets were the first to get on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning. Katie Johnsky started things off with a walk and was replaced on the base paths by Kaitlin Kates. Kates moved over to second on a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt by Danielle Dike. A bloop single to centerfield by Karly Fullem put runners on the corners for Tech. Fullem was replaced on the base paths by the centerfielder and flex player, Hayley Downs.
Caroline Hilton drove in the first Tech run of the day on a hard hit ball to second. Illinois State tried to come home with the ball, but the runners were off with the pitch on the hit and run and Kates’ speed was too much as Tech took a 1-0 lead. Chelsie Thomas walked the bases loaded and a choppy hit to short by Ashley Thomas forced the ISU shortstop Lindsey Greene go to third for her only chance at an out as Downs crossed the plate for the 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, Tech added to its lead as Rush started things off crushing the ball to left centerfield for a double. Rush was replaced on the basepaths by Caitlin Coffey who moved to third base on a deep fly ball to right field by Rudnik. Coffey, on a heads up play, slid in for the third run of the game on a wild pitch by relief pitcher Taylor Baxter giving Tech a 3-0 lead.
Tech’s bats really came alive in the top of the seventh. Hilton started things off getting hit by the first pitch of the inning. Both Chelsie and Ashley Thomas used their speed to beat out their sacrifice bunts which loaded the bases with no outs. Rush worked the count full and a high and outside pitch sent her to first base and brought in Hilton in for the fourth run of the game. Rudnik followed the walk with a deep fly ball all the way to the right field fence to bring home the Thomases and give Tech a 6-0 cushion.
The Jackets will return to action with a midweek game against Georgia State in Panthersville, Ga. Game time is slated for 5 p.m.
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