No. 24 Georgia Tech Softball Opens Cox Communications Classic 0-2

Feb. 21, 2003

Illinois Box Score
Oakland Box Score

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Despite a career-best one-hitter from junior Erin Voeltz, the 24th-ranked Georgia Tech softball team (6-5) dropped a 1-0 decision to Oakland University (1-0) in the second game of the Cox Communications Classic Friday at the Florida Softball Stadium. In the day’s first contest, the Jackets lost an eight-inning thriller to Illinois (6-0) by a score of 3-2.

Voeltz was dominant from the start, as she held the Golden Grizzlies hitless until a fifth-inning single by designated player Tiffany Evans. However, Donna McCoy entered to pinch run for Evans and scored from second on a two-out fielding error by Tech shortstop Tara Knudsen, giving Oakland a 1-0 lead.

That run would enough for Oakland, and Voeltz was saddled with the tough-luck loss. She allowed just one hit and two walks, while striking out a season-high seven batters. She is now 4-1 on the season with a 1.37 earned run average. Oakland’s Julie Anderson (1-0) earned the shutout win after allowing just four hits and one walk.

Tech third baseman Tara Neff led the Jacket offense against Oakland with two hits.

In the first game of the day, Illinois scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn the come-from-behind victory, 3-2. Third baseman Erin Jones had a RBI single, and second baseman Katie O’Connell drew a bases loaded walk from Tech starter Jessica Sallinger to plate the winning run.

In the top half of the inning, pinch runner Amy Hosier scored on a throwing error by Illinois center fielder Rachelle Coriddi, giving Tech a 2-1 lead. Hosier advanced to third on a single by first baseman Katie Donovan and the came home when the throw sailed past home plate. All-American shortstop Tara Knudsen got the rally started with her third hit of the day, a double to left center.

Knudsen got Tech on the board in the top of the third with a run-scoring single to center. The hit scored second baseman Felicia Coursey, who led off the inning with a single to short, from second, and gave the Jackets a 1-0 lead.

Illinois got a run of its own in the bottom of the frame, as an infield single by shortstop Lindsey Hamma knotted the score at one until extra innings.

The Fighting Illini had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth, but Tech center fielder Sara Wissmann gunned down Illinois second baseman Katie O’Connell, who was trying score on a single to center by Coriddi, and kept the score tied.

Tech squandered the chance for a big first inning, as it loaded the bases with no outs and the heart of the order coming up. However, Illinois starter Amanda Fortune retired the next three batters, including two via strikeout, to get out of the frame.

The Fighting Illini also threatened early, stranding a runner at third in both the first and second innings.

Sallinger (2-4) took the loss for the Jackets. She went 7.2 innings, allowing eight hits, seven walks and three earned runs. Fortune (3-0) allowed just one earned run in eight innings for Illinois.

Knudsen went 3-for-4 with a RBI, and Coursey went 2-for-3 to lead Tech at the plate. Jones had two hits and a RBI to pace the Illini.

Tech will face host Florida Saturday at 1:30 p.m. before beginning bracket play, which continues Sunday.

-GT-

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