March 2, 2013
ORLANDO – On day two of the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, the Georgia Tech softball team (10-11) dropped both of its games as the competition combined for six home runs on 16 hits. The Yellow Jackets fell in the first game, 6-3, to No. 15/16 Louisville, before they dropped the second game to Notre Dame, 6-2.
Both Louisville (15-3) and Notre Dame (9-5) posted three home runs against Tech for the second and third occasions this season a team was able to power three long balls past the Jackets.
Game 1 – Louisville 6, Georgia Tech 3
Georgia Tech starter Hope Rush allowed three runs on four hits in the top of the first as the Cards jumped out a 3-0 lead.
Rush (6-7) gave way to Ashley Clifton after the first inning. Clifton battled over the next six innings, limiting the Cardinals to three runs on five hits, but the three runs were all leadoff home runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, and two of the three were hit by the same player – Alicja Wolny. Whitney Arion hit the other home run for Louisville.
The Jackets were able to cut the lead in half. Rush stayed in the game to hit and drew a walk in the fifth inning. Her pinch runner Kaitlin Kates was hit around thanks to an RBI-double by Karly Fullem.
Fullem had struck out swinging in the two previous at bats, but made the necessary adjustments to break through with the double.
It was Rush again who hit a leadoff double in the seventh inning. Her pinch runner Kelly Delashmit moved to second on a ground out and scored on a Fullem groundout, but it wasn’t enough and the Cardinals prevailed, 6-3.
Game 2 – Notre Dame 6, Georgia Tech 2
Notre Dame scored three of its six runs on home runs in the Irish’s 6-2 victory. The Jackets held Notre Dame scoreless until the fourth inning and the Irish plated all of its runs in the last three frames.
After no score through the first four innings, the Yellow Jackets broke through Notre Dame’s defense to get on the board first thanks to Lionberger’s first career home run.
Lionberger belted the first offering from Irish pitcher Laura Winter for a solo bomb over the center-field fence to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead.
Lauren Stuhr got that run right back in the bottom of the frame for the Irish as she roped a solo shot over the left-field wall.
Notre Dame tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning, before Stuhr stepped to the plate again in the sixth inning and rocked her second home run of the game – a solo long ball to centerfield. Emily Koerner followed that up with a double.
Two outs later, pinch hitter Cassidy Whippen came in clutch for Notre Dame, tattooing an 0-1 pitch from Tech’s Ashley Clifton out of the park for a two-run home run.
Although Tech couldn’t rally in the top of the seventh, Coffey knocked one over the left-field fence for her first career home run.
The Jackets wrap up the Citrus Classic and look for their first win of the tournament Sunday at 9 a.m. against Temple.