TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Apr. 29) — No. 4 seed Virginia came from behind to defeat No. 5 seed Georgia Tech, 7-6, in nine innings, in Game One of the 2000 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, Saturday afternoon at the Seminole Softball Complex. The Cavaliers, who now advance to Game 3 vs. No. 1 seed North Carolina, improved to 25-34 while the Yellow Jackets fell to 25-32.
Georgia Tech jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off of four hits. Lauren Schwartz and Heather Sumrow led off the inning with back-to-back singles while Lindsay Wood’s base hit scored one run and Ellen Styer drove in two others with a single to center field. Wood went on to score on an error. The Cavaliers responded with two runs of their own in the first as Kristen Dennis belted a two-out home run to left center, scoring leadoff hitter Meaghan Young, who reached on a base hit.
The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to three with another run in the fourth. Erin Hawley tripled to right field, scoring Schwartz, who led off the inning with a base hit down the middle. The Cavaliers inched closer with two runs in the fifth as Young tripled to right field scoring Corinne Good and Stephanie Calhoun, who each had singles. Georgia Tech picked an unearned run in the sixth to go up 6-4, but could not hold on to its lead. Virginia tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. With two on and one out, Amy Peay drove in two runs with a double to left center and the game went to extra innings. Neither team recorded hits in the eighth inning and then in the bottom of the ninth Kelly McCabe led off with a double to right center and scored on a throwing error by Tech third baseman Jamie Frost. UVA relief pitcher Chrissy Quinn, who pitched the final 5.2 innings and earned her fourth-straight victory to improve to 11-11, shut down the Yellow Jackets offensively. She did not give up a hit and walked just one as the Yellow Jackets scored one unearned run in the game’s final five innings. Young, Peay and Dennis each had two RBI for the Cavs, who had 10 hits as a team.
“It’s a great win for us especially since we did not play well,” Virginia Head Coach Cheryl Sprangel said. “But we’ll take it. We dug ourselves a big hole, but it shows how much character we have to be able to come back like we did.”
Georgia Tech’s Schwartz and Sumrow combined for four of the Yellow Jackets’ seven hits. Pitcher Jamie Smith went the distance and fell to 14-17.
“I was very pleased with our offense, ” Georgia Tech Head Coach Kate Madden said. “Six runs is enough runs to win a ball game. Our pitching and defense was not as strong as it has been and that’s what I am disappointed about.”
GAME ONE 123 456 789 R H EGeorgia Tech 400 101 000 - 6 7 2Virginia 200 020 201 - 7 10 3WP - Chrissy Quinn (11-11); LP - Jamie Smith (14-17)
* UVa right fielder Meaghan Young broke her own single season school record by collecting her 95th total base of the season with a two-run triple to right center in the fifth inning. Young’s former total base mark was 94 in the 1998 season.