March 6, 2005
MARIETTA, Ga. – Despite jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead and out-hitting Ohio State, 10-6, No. 19 Georgia Tech (19-5) dropped a 5-3 decision to the Buckeyes (11-5) in the semifinals of the Buzz Classic on Sunday afternoon at Al Bishop Softball Complex. The Yellow Jackets defeated Florida A&M, 11-3, in five innings in the quarterfinals earlier in the day.
Sophomore Sarah Wood (4-1) picked up the win in relief of the FAMU game, throwing a perfect 2 1/3 innings, striking out two. The Marietta, Ga., native also drove in the game-ending run for the Jackets and finished 1-for-2 at the plate. Freshman Savannah Brown finished 2-for-3, with two runs batted in against the Lady Rattlers.
Against the Buckeyes, senior pitcher Jessica Sallinger (10-3) lost a 3-0 lead in the circle by allowing five runs on two home runs in the final two innings of action. Despite the loss, Sallinger struck out 10 and moved into a tie for 13th place all-time in the NCAA with 1,154 career strikeouts.
The Yellow Jackets’ Aileen Morales smacked her first home run of her career and finished 2-for-4 with one RBI, while Wood went 2-for-3 against the Buckeyes to lead the Tech offensive attack.
The top-seeded Yellow Jackets wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the quarterfinals versus No. 9 seed Florida A&M. Brown and seniors Kirin Kumar and Katie Donovan each drove in runs as Tech pushed seven runs across in the first inning on four hits to lead 7-0 after one inning of play.
The Lady Rattlers responded with an unearned run in the top of the second inning on two hits as the lead was cut to six runs, 7-1. FAMU tallied two more runs in the top of the third inning on RBI base hits by Treva Robinson and Danielle Brown to bring the Lady Rattlers within four, 7-3. Wood entered the circle for the Jackets with two outs and recorded the final out of the half inning.
The Jackets added an eighth run in the bottom of the third inning as Donovan walked, stole second base and came around to score on an error by the FAMU second baseman on the throw down to second base on the steal.
Brown drove in the ninth run of the game for Tech in the fourth inning with a two-out base hit to center field to score Sheridan who reached on a walk. Kumar led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a triple and after the Jackets loaded the bases with no outs, Wood drove in the game-ending run to give Tech an 11-3, five inning win.
In the semifinals against the Buckeyes, Morales led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run to left field on the first delivery. After a strikeout, Wood drove in the second run of the inning with a base hit to left field to plate Sheridan who reached on a single and stole second base.
Freshman Kacey Ivey led off the second inning with an infield single and stole second base. Kumar advanced Ivey to third on a sacrifice bunt and Lever drove her in with another infield single to put Tech up 3-0 after two complete innings of play.
OSU’s Karisa Evans drove in the first run for the Buckeyes to plate Brittany Vanderink who led off with a triple to cut the lead to two, 3-1. Megan Schwab then struck her fifth home run of the tournament to tie the score at 3-3 heading to the bottom half of the sixth inning.
Hosier gave Tech a runner in scoring position with two outs in the sixth inning with a two-out double off the left field fence. OSU’s Jamee Juarez recorded the final out with a big strikeout to send the game to the seventh inning tied.
The Buckeyes’ Liz Caputo led off the seventh inning with a double. Sallinger tallied her 10th strikeout of the game to pick up the first out. OSU’s Chelsea Baker then connected on a two-run home run to left field to give Ohio State its first lead of the game at 5-3. Sallinger induced a fly out and pop out to end the inning as Tech came to bat in the last half inning down by two runs.
Tech’s Kumar singled through the left side with one out to give the Jackets a base runner in the last inning. Morales then singled to left field to place runners at first and second. Lever then struck out to bring Sheridan to the plate with two outs. On a 2-2 count, Sheridan popped up to the short stop to end the game and send Ohio State to the championship game against Big Ten foe Iowa (14-3).
Tech will return to Glenn Field for the first time in a month to host the Yellow Jacket Invitational. Boston University and Oakland University will play a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 8, at 1 p.m., and the Jackets will take on Boston and OU on Wednesday at Noon and 2 p.m.