March 14, 2015
THE FLATS – After dropping the first game by one run, 3-2, the Georgia Tech softball team (11-14, 4-4 ACC) rallied to defeat Pitt (21-5, 3-2), 9-1, in five innings to split on the first day of the series Saturday. The rubber match is set for Sunday at 12 p.m. on ESPN3 with Richard Musterer and Christy Blair on the call.
“I thought we responded very well. It was a tough loss in that first game,” head coach Shelly Hoerner said. “It’s a game of responding when you’re down and I think the team did a really good job. We’re going to fight, scratch and make adjustments.
“I thought we played well. I thought Christina Biggerstaff pitched a great game and we had the bats behind her. Karly Fullem responded nicely from that first game with great at bats, and Courtney Ziese did as well.”
Game 1: Pitt 3, Georgia Tech 2
Although Tech out-hit Pitt 7-5 in the opening game, the Panthers’ timely hitting in the seventh captured the one-run victory.
Georgia Tech took a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning, but Pitt managed two hits with two outs to score a pair of runs and Pitt was able to hold on for the win.
Pitt got on the board first in the top of the third inning after drawing a bases-loaded, two-out walk. The Jackets took over the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Maddie Lionberger and Pierannunzi hit back-to-back singles, and the runners moved up a base on a Pitt fielding error. With runners on second and third and two outs, Katie Johnsky ripped a single up the middle to bring both runners home.
Kylie Kleinschmidt (3-8) suffered the loss, surrendering three runs, two earned, on five hits in a complete-game effort. She struck out 11 batters, including striking out the side twice in the game.
Pitt’s Savannah King (12-2) earned the win, pitching all seven innings with two runs, one earned, on seven hits.
Game 2: Georgia Tech 9, Pitt 1 (5)
Pitt pushed a run across in the top of the second inning, but the Jackets bounced back in the bottom of the same frame. Kowalewicz and Fullem smacked back-to-back singles and moved ahead on a sacrifice bunt by Colleen Darragh. Kelsey Chisholm stepped to the plate and smoked a line drive to deep left for a double, scoring both runners.
Tech’s bats stayed hot and the Jackets scored three additional runs in the third to go up 5-1 thanks to a three-run shot by Fullem to plate Ziese and Kowalewicz.
Ziese kept the hits rolling with a first-pitch bomb to left for a grand slam and her sixth home run of the year, bringing in Lionberger, Pierannunzi and Johnsky in the fourth inning to give Tech the final 9-1 advantage.
Christina Biggerstaff (5-2) had two strikeouts and induced a pop up in the top of the fifth to seal the victory. She pitched 5.0 innings with one run on one hit and eight punchouts.
Pitt starter Kayla Harris (7-3) absorbed the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in 2.1 innings. Jenna Modic threw the remaining 1.2 frames with four runs on two hits.
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