March 8, 2011
KENNESAW, Ga. – Sophomore Hope Rush hit a home run and pitched five shutout innings as the Georgia Tech softball team (13-4) beat Penn State (8-6), 2-0, Tuesday afternoon in a game played at Bailey Park on the campus of Kennesaw State University. Junior Shannon Bear also hit a home run and had a triple for the Jackets as they won their sixth straight game.
Rush (4-2) gave up just one hit in her five scoreless innings. She walked two and struck out three. Senior Kristen Adkins pitched the final two innings for her second save of the season. She gave up two singles and struck out three.
In a pitchers dual between Rush and Penn State ace Lisa Akamine scoring chances were few and far between. The Yellow Jackets had a runner at third base in each of the first three innings, but did not break through until the fourth.
With the bases empty and one out, Rush crushed an Akamine offering deep over the fence in left field for her team-leading fifth homer of the year to give Tech a 1-0 lead. It was also the first earned run allowed by Akamine in her last 33.2 innings pitched.
Tech had a great chance to add some insurance in the fifth but Akamine got out of a big jam. Freshman Hayley Downs began the inning with a single up the middle, stole second base and was still there after senior Christy Jones walked. Junior Kate Kuzma sacrificed both runners over to second and third base but that would be as far as they would go. Akamine came back to strike out junior Kelsi Weseman and then Penn State left fielder Mary Ostman made a diving catch on a looping liner off the bat of senior Kristine Priebe to end the inning.
Bear continued her got hitting as the ACC Player of the Week gave Adkins some insurance with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bear’s second home run of the season gave Tech a 2-0 lead through six innings.
Georgia Tech’s game against No. 2 Alabama scheduled for tomorrow at Mewborn Field has already been rained out. It will be made up later in the season at a date TBA. Tech will now host the Springhill Suites Buckhead Classic this weekend at Mewborn Field. The tournament begins Friday at 2 p.m. as Penn State will meet Bowling Green. The Yellow Jackets will then face Bowling Green at 4:30 p.m. Belmont and Georgia State are also in the tournament. Live video, audio and stats will be available at RamblinWreck.com.
Follow Georgia Tech Softball all season at www.Twitter.com/GaTechSoftball and on Facebook.