March 29, 2009
ATLANTA – After a five-hour and 15 minute rain delay, the Georgia Tech Softball team (26-8, 4-1 ACC) swept No. 19/20 Florida State (24-11, 2-3) in a doubleheader Saturday night at Mewborn Field, 8-3 and 3-0. Senior Whitney Haller was 3-for-4 and hit a grand slam in game one, while senior Tiffany Johnson hit a two-run home run and pitched a three-hit shutout in game two.
Senior Blair Shimandle was 4-for-7 for the Yellow Jackets, while Adkins added three hits on the night as well. Adkins threw 158 pitches in a complete-game effort in game one as she improved to 13-4 on the season. She gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and five walks. She struck out a career-high nine batters. Johnson, meanwhile, pitched her second straight shutout and fourth one of the season. She limited the Seminoles to just three hits and two walks while fanning five. Only two Seminoles reached second base and no one made it to third.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms delayed the start of game one over five hours and it was 6:15 p.m. by the time Adkins threw the first pitch of the game. In the bottom of the first inning, the Yellow Jackets wasted no time in jumping on FSU ace Terese Gober. Gober, who entered the game with a 15-5 record and an ERA of 0.99, loaded the bases with no outs after a single by Shimandle, walk by redshirt junior Jen Yee and hitting freshman Kelsi Weseman. On a 0-1 pitch, Haller unloaded on the ball as she hit a grand slam through the wind blowing in putting Tech up 4-0.
The Seminoles got one of the runs back in the top of the second on an unearned run, but in the bottom of the frame sophomore Jessica Weaver hit the 14th pitch of her leadoff at bat against Gober over the fence in right field for her first home run of the season.
It was 5-1 until the bottom of the fourth when the Yellow Jackets struck for two more runs. With two on and two outs, Johnson hit a ball to FSU right fielder Shayla Jackson. Jackson, fighting the wind, dropped the ball and her error allowed two more runs to score. The eighth Tech run crossed the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning when Yee hit her sixth home run of the season to the opposite field in left.
The Seminoles added runs in the sixth and seventh against Adkins, but could not get any closer. They did have plenty of chances as they stranded 10 base runners in the game. Adkins was also helped out by her defense. With two on and one out in the fourth inning, FSU pinch hitter Allison Collins hit a ball that appeared to be heading for the gap in right-center field. Shimandle got a great break on the ball and made an acrobatic catch in the gap as her body was parallel to the ground. It was her second acrobatic catch in as many weeks in the outfield.
In the sixth, the Seminoles had two more on with one out, but Carly Wynn’s line drive up the middle was snared by Weseman at shortstop and she was able to step on the bag completing the double-play.
Game two turned out to be a pitcher’s duel between Johnson and Florida State pitcher Sarah Hamilton, It looked like the Jackets were going to jump out on top quickly again in the first inning, Hamilton got out of a bases loaded and one out jam by striking out both Johnson and Adkins.
It was a scoreless game until the third when Adkins came through with a two-out RBI hit. With Weseman and Johnson, who had already singled, aboard Adkins gave the Jackets a 1-0 lead with a RBI double that was just fair down the left-field line.
Johnson, meanwhile, held the Seminoles hitless through the first four innings but Amber Bryant led off the top of the fifth with a clean single into right field. In the bottom of the fifth, Johnson gave herself some insurance by hitting her team-high 11th home run of the season, a two-run blast to left field.
She gave up just two hits to the Seminoles the rest of the way and helped the Yellow Jackets complete the sweep.
Game three of the series will be tomorrow at 1 p.m. and the New Stadium Celebration, which was supposed to take place today, has been moved to tomorrow. The first 200 fans will receive a commemorative Mewborn Field t-shirt. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and first pitch of game one is set for 1 p.m. There will be free popcorn for all fans and free pizza for students. Beyond the right field fence, there will be games for the kids and special promotions and give-a-ways throughout the day for all fans. Make sure to arrive early and bring the whole family for a fun-filled day.
ACC Select will provide video of the game for a small fee, while free live audio and stats for every Yellow Jacket softball game this season is available at www.ramblinwreck.com.