March 16, 2008
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Softball Team (10-18, 2-4 ACC) earned a split with #24 Virginia Tech (18-9, 2-1) Sunday afternoon at Glenn Field. Behind All-American pitcher Angela Tincher, the Hokies scored four unanswered runs for a come-from-behind 4-2 win in game one today. In game two, the Yellow Jackets took advantage of five Virginia Tech errors for a 7-3 win. Senior Aileen Morales and junior Blair Shimandle combined for five hits, three RBI and eight stolen bases on the day.
Georgia Tech struck first in game one against Virginia Tech All-American pitcher Angela Tincher. Senior Aileen Morales led off with a walk and then went to second base as freshman Christy Jones beat out an infield single. Junior Blair Shimandle tried to bunt both Morales and Jones over, but missed the ball. Morales and Jones kept running, however, and were credited with a double steal. Shimandle grounded out driving home Morales with the game’s first run, but Tincher got out of a runner on third with one out jam.
The Jackets added to their lead in the third inning. With one out, Morales doubled to the alley in left-center field and then Jones walked putting two on with just one out again. After stealing third, Morales scored when Shimandle’s ground ball was booted by Hokie shortstop Misty Hall. For the second time in three innings, however, Tincher was able to get out of the jam.
Tech freshman pitcher Stephanie Morris was on cruse control through the first three innings. She retired all nine batters she faced on eight ground balls and a strikeout. Morris then ran into some trouble in the fourth inning and the Hokies were able to put up a three-spot. Jenna Rhodes led off the inning with a bunt single that went no more than two feet in front of Tech senior catcher Savannah Brown. After Rhodes stole second base, Morris was able record the inning’s first out as Erin Ota grounded out but moving to third base was Rhodes. Morris thought she had a strikeout of Charisse Mariconda on a 2-2 pitch, but it was called a ball and Morris then hit Mariconda with the next pitch.
Mariconda stole second base giving the Hokies runners at second and third with just one out but Morris was able to get a big second out. Kelsey Hoffman popped up to shallow centerfield. Tech senior Stephanie Butler came in to make the catch and held Rhodes at third base. Jessica Everhart changed the entire complexion of the game when she sent a 2-1 pitch over the fence in left field for her first home run of the season. Morris came back to get the third out, but the Hokies now had a 3-2 lead.
Tincher settled down and had retired eight batters in a row until she hit Shimandle with the first pitch of the sixth inning. Shimandle stole second base, but Tincher came back to strike out Brown for out number one. Tincher also struck out junior Whitney Haller, but the catcher Hoffman dropped the ball and Haller was able to reach while Shimandle took third. Tincher held tough and did not allow the tying run to score as she came back to strike out freshman Jessica Weaver and get senior Brittany Barnes on a fly ball to center field.
The Hokies added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning and Tincher pitched a perfect bottom half of the inning including two more strikeouts to preserve the win.
Tincher (11-4) earned her second win in as many games against the Jackets. She was charged with two earned runs on two hits. Tincher walked two and struck out 13. Morris (2-5) suffered the loss for the Jackets as she yielded four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and one walk. She fanned five.
Game two was a completely different story as the Jackets sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning and scored five times against Virginia Tech starting pitcher Heather Lowry. Morales led off with a bunt single and then stole second and third bases. Jones followed with a ground ball to shortstop that was mis-played by Misty Hall allowing her to reach safely and Morales to cross the plate with the game’s first run. A well-placed ball by Shimandle in the 5-6 hole gave the Jackets two on and still nobody out.
After Brown flied out to right field, Haller sent a slow roller to third base. Mariconda fielded it cleanly and tried to gun down Jones at home, but she slid in safely making it 2-0 Georgia Tech. Barnes made it 3-0 with a RBI ground out and then Weaver delivered a RBI double to left field making the score 4-0. Freshman Amanda Crow walked and that was the last batter that Lowry would face. Kenzie Roark came in to face Butler who sent a ground ball to short. Hall threw across but first baseman Jess Hodge dropped the ball allowing Weaver to score the Jackets’ fifth run. Roark walked Morales to load the bases, but got a big strikeout of Jones to prevent a disastrous inning.
Tech added another run in the second inning. Haller got it started with a two-out single to left field. Barnes then crushed a pitch into left-center that was booted by left fielder Caroline Stolle. When the dust settled, Haller scored the sixth run and Barnes was at second base on a single and an error by Stolle.
Virginia Tech got one of the runs back in the third inning, but senior Whitney Humphreys had the Hokies off balance and limited them to just two hits through the first five innings. The Yellow Jackets got that run back in the bottom of the fifth inning as Crow led off with a walk and then freshman pinch runner Amelia Beach was sacrificed to second by sophomore Kelly Eppinger. After a Morales fly out moved Beach to third base, she scored her first collegiate run on a Shimandle infield single.
Virginia Tech continued to chip away and started to make things interesting. A RBI double by Everhart and then a RBI single by Stolle made the score 7-3 Jackets. The Hokies still had runners at first and third with just one out, but Humphreys came back to record consecutive strikeouts and get out of the jam.
In the top of the seventh inning, Tech freshman pitcher Emily Schreck came in to start the inning as she made her collegiate debut. She gave up a leadoff single top Ota and then an error by Crow gave the Hokies runners at first and second with nobody out. Schreck, however, came back to get the next three outs and pitch a scoreless seventh inning.
Hiumphreys (5-9) picks up the win as she allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks in six innings. She struck out four batters. Lowry (5-2) took the loss as she lasted just 0.2 innings and was charged with five runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk. Roark pitched 5.1 innings in relief and surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks. She struck out six batters.
The Yellow Jackets will leave tomorrow on a six-day, 1,108 mile spring break trip that will take them from Cookeville, Tenn, Rock Hill, S.C. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Tech will play a doubleheader Tuesday at Tennessee Tech (4:00 and 6:00 p.m. ET), Thursday at Winthrop (2:00 and 4:00 p.m.) and Saturday at Coastal Carolina (2:00 and 4:00 p.m.). Fans can follow all six games from the spring break trip via Gametracker at www.ramblinwreck.com.