March 20, 2008
ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Georgia Tech Softball Team (11-21) and Winthrop (17-11) split a doubleheader Thursday afternoon as each team won a game in dramatic fashion. In game one, Stephanie Reid hit a two-out, walk-off grand slam giving the Eagles a 5-1 win. Game two saw senior Savannah Brown and junior Whitney Haller each hit a RBI double in the seventh inning to give the Jackets a 3-2 come-from-behind win. Freshman Emily Schreck earned the win in her first collegiate start, while Brown had two RBI on the day tying the all-time Georgia Tech record of 172.
In game one, the Yellow Jackets put two on with two outs in the first inning as freshman Christy Jones and senior Savannah Brown each worked walks, but Winthrop starting pitcher Megan Evans struck out junior Whitney Haller to get out of the jam. In the bottom of the inning, am infield single and double gave the Eagles runners at second and third with just one out, but Tech senior pitcher was able to get out of the inning unharmed with a strikeout and a ground out to senior Aileen Morales at shortstop.
In the bottom of the third inning, Winthrop took a 1-0 lead but it could have been a lot worse. After a one-out RBI single off the bat of Stephanie Reid made it 1-0, the Eagles had runners at second and third with one out. Humphreys came back, however, to get a strikeout and a fly out to senior Stephanie Butler in centerfield to keep it a 1-0 game.
Brown led off the fourth inning with a walk, her second of the game and was sacrificed to second base by Haller. The Jackets were unable to get the tying run home though as senior Brittany Barnes and freshman Jessica Weaver each popped out.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Jackets ran into some bad luck. After Butler dumped a single down the left-field line, Morales hit a shot up the middle that was headed for centerfield. Evans, who is a left-handed pitcher, stuck her glove out and snared the line drive and threw to first base doubling off Butler.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Jackets came back to tie the game. Jones led off with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second base by junior Blair Shimandle. Brown then moved within one RBI of tying the all-time Georgia Tech record as her single up the middle plated Jones with the tying run. Evans retired the next two Yellow Jacket batters, but it was now a 1-1 game.
Two walks and a soft single loaded the bases with one out for the Eagles in the bottom of the seventh inning. Humphreys got a big second out when Lisa Kingsmore lined out to senior Becky McCraw at second base. McCraw tried to get a double-play, but the ball was hit so hard that the runners didn’t have time to stray too far off the bag.
Humphreys then appeared to be out of the big jam as she got Reid to hit a lazy fly ball down the left-field line. Jones drifted over into foul territory, but was unable to make the play. The error extended Reid’s at bat and she made the Yellow Jackets pay. Two pitches later, Reid hit the ball up into the wind that was blowing out to left field and it drifted over the wall for a walk-off grand slam.
Humphreys (5-11) pitched well, but took a tough loss. She was charged with five runs, but only one was earned. Humphreys allowed seven hits and three walks, while striking out six. Evans (8-4) got the win for Winthrop as she gave up one earned run on five hits and three walks. She struck out five batters.
In game two, freshman Emily Schreck made just her second career appearances as she earned her first career start and the Eagles got to her for a run in the first inning. Consecutive singles gave Winthrop runners at first and second with nobody out. Reid then sacrificed both runners over, but Tessa Thomas rounded third and tried to score from second base. Schreck fielded the ball and threw to Haller at first base who gunned a strike home to Weaver as she applied the tag onto Thomas for the inning’s second out. A two-out single by Mallory Hogan, however, gave Winthrop a 1-0 lead.
Another two-out RBI single, this time by Pearl Coleshill, made it a 2-0 game in the second inning.
Tech got one of the runs back in the top of the third inning. Butler got it going with a one-out single to left field. Morales then laced a pitch to the alley in right-centerfield. Butler easily scored, but Morales was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple on a perfect relay in by Winthrop, but it was now a 2-1 game heading to the bottom of the third inning.
Schreck settled down and kept the Eagles off the scoreboard through the sixth, but the Yellow Jacket offense was unable to get anything going until their final at bat.
Tech had the heart of the order up in the seventh and was able to push across two runs to take its first lead of the day. Shimandle got it going as she slapped a single through the left side and stole second base. Brown then came up and tied the school RBI record as she laced a double off the fence in centerfield. Shimandle easily scored the tying run. Barnes followed by dumping a single into centerfield, but Brown had to hold up on the play to see if it would be caught and was thrown out at third base. Barnes was able to go to second base on the play and then pinch runner Kelly Eppinger was able to score when Haller doubled to right-centerfield.
Schreck (1-0) worked around a two-out single and an error to hang on for her first collegiate win. She scattered nine hits and walked one while not striking out a batter. Cari Wooldridge (8-6) took the loss for the Eagles as she allowed three earned runs on six hits. She did not walk a batter and struck out five.
The Yellow Jackets’ six-day, 1,108 mile spring break trip this week concludes Saturday with a doubleheader against Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Live video is available for a fee through www.bigsouthsports.com, while live stats is also available via Gametracker at www.ramblinwreck.com.