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Black Blasts Jackets Past Panthers, 10-1

PANTHERSVILLE, Ga. – Georgia Tech softball (3-2) blew by Georgia State (1-5), using an eight-run fifth inning to surge onto a 10-1, mercy-rule victory in five innings on Tuesday night at the Bob Heck Softball Complex.

The Yellow Jackets powered past the Panthers with the longball, belting three dingers for six runs as junior third baseman Mallorie Black led the way with her first career grand slam and a solo bomb while senior catcher Emma Kauf hammered a solo shot of her own over dead center. Senior slinger Blake Neleman, meanwhile, suffocated the Panthers from the circle with eight strikeouts in a one-hitter through five innings of work.

Following a quiet first three innings for both sides, the Yellow Jackets broke through in the top of the fourth with two of their three longballs as Kauf and Black both went yard with the bases clear. The Panthers clawed back in the bottom of that frame, leading off with a solo home run of their own to slice the Tech lead in half, 2-1.

Georgia Tech erupted in the inning to follow, sending eight more runs across the plate. The White and Gold wasted no time loading the bases with one out with a bunt single from junior shortstop Jin SIleo sandwiched in between a pair of walks. The first run of the inning was walked home before Black’s grand slam cleared the bases for a 7-1 Tech advantage. The base path was filled yet again with two outs thanks to a single by sophomore second baseman Grace Connelly and a couple of walks, allowing another run to be walked home before freshman right fielder Paige Vukadinovich slapped a two-RBI single. Neleman dealt one final time in the bottom of the frame, wrapping up her stellar outing with a one-two-three inning to put a bow on the 10-1 Yellow Jacket victory.

Game Notes

  • Black led the squad at the dish on the day, going 2-for-3 and accounting for half of the White and Gold’s runs with five RBI thanks to her pair of aforementioned home runs.
  • Along with smashing her first career grand slam, Black also knocked two home runs in a single game for the first time in her career.
  • Black is up to three home runs on the year, matching her career total in just five games this season as she’s up to six dingers on The Flats.
  • Kauf’s round tripper was her first of the season and 23rd of her career.
  • Neleman tossed a strong five innings as she racked up eight punchouts while allowing just one hit.
  • Six Jackets batted .500 or better on the day.
  • Vukadinovich went 2-for-4 with two RBI while Connelly went 2-for-3 as they each came away with multiple hits.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will host its second tournament of the season in the ACC/B1G Challenge. The Yellow Jackets will welcome Illinois, Louisville and Wisconsin to The Flats, beginning competition against the Badgers on Friday at 4 p.m. at Mewborn Field. Each game for the White and Gold will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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