March 7, 2009
WOODSTOCK, Ga. – Strong pitching performances by freshman Jessica Coan and sophomore Kristen Adkins led the Georgia Tech softball team (12-6) to a pair of wins on the second day of the Buzz Classic at the Twin Creek Softball Complex.
Coan struck out a career-high nine batters en route to an 11-1 win in five innings over Toledo (0-5) in the first game of the day. Adkins then tossed her first career shutout, a six-hitter, in a 3-0 win against Jacksonville State (12-6). Senior Tiffany Johnson hit her team-high fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot against Toledo, while freshman Shannon Bear hit her first career round-tripper as well against the Rockets. Jessica Sinclair was 3-for-5 with two RBI on the day.
In game one, the Yellow Jackets scored early and often against Toledo en route to an 11-1 win in five innings. It all began with a six-run bottom of the first inning. Jen Yee was hit by the first she saw and then went to second base on an infield single by Christy Jones. After both runners were sacrificed over a base by Blair Shimandle, Tiffany Johnson drew a walk loading the bases.
Whitney Haller reached on a fielder’s choice, but when Toledo shortstop Brie Ford threw the ball away, everybody was safe and a run scored. A bases loaded walk by Kelsi Weseman made it a 2-0 game and then a bases-clearing, three-run double off the bat of Kate Kuzma gave the Yellow Jackets a commanding 5-0 lead. Tech added another run later in the inning when Jessica Sinclair delivered a RBI single up the middle.
The six runs were more than enough for Tech freshman pitcher Jessica Coan. She was dominant all day and gave up just one run in the fourth inning. Coan improved to 2-2 on the season as she gave up three hits, two walks and struck out a career-high nine batters in just five innings.
In the bottom the second inning Tiffany Johnson hit her team-high fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot that gave Tech an 8-0 lead. The Jackets added two more in the third when freshman pinch hitter Shannon Bear crushed a two-run home run over the fence in left-center field. It was her first career round-tripper and just her second career hit in as many at bats.
Sinclair capped the scoring for the Yellow Jackets in the bottom of the fourth inning with a RBI single.
Whitney Young took the loss for the Rockets as she gave up eight earned runs on five hits and three walks in two innings. Trisha Rons pitched two innings of relief and was charged with three runs on four hits and a walk. She recorded one strikeout.
In game two, the Yellow Jackets took advantage of a couple opportunities in the first inning against Jacksonville State. JSU pitcher Karla Pittman got the first two outs quickly, but then she hit Shimandle, allowed Johnson to reach on her own error and hit Haller loading the bases. An infield single by Weseman brought in the first run of the game and a bases loaded walk by Kuzma made it 2-0. Pittman got Adkins to ground out ending the inning, but the damage had been done.
Adkins allowed a pair of hits in the bottom of the first inning to Chrissy O’Neal and Nikki Prier, but she got a big strikeout of Kayla Collins ending the inning.
Both pitchers were on cruise control after the first inning. Adkins allowed a one-out single in the second inning, but then retired the next 10 batters in a row before Mary Beth Ledbetter singled with two outs in the fifth.
The Yellow Jackets got to Pittman for an insurance run in the top of the fifth inning as Shimandle singled home Yee with two outs. Yee had singled earlier in the inning.
Adkins (5-3) gave up a single in the seventh, but was able to keep the Gamecocks off the scoreboard and preserve her first career shutout. She scattered six hits, fanned two and did not walk a batter.
Pittman (2-1) allowed three runs on four hits and a walk, but just one of the runs was earned. She struck out six batters.
The Buzz Classic wraps up on Sunday at Noon as the Yellow Jackets will take on Western Kentucky. All Georgia Tech games will be broadcast on www.ramblinwreck.com, while live stats and box scores for every Buzz Classic game can be found on the Tournament Central page.
Don’t forget, prior to Georgia Tech’s home opener on Tuesday, March 10, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open Shirley Clements Mewborn Field. The ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. and then the Yellow Jackets will take on UT Martin in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. Shirley Clements Mewborn Field is the new on-campus home of the Georgia Tech softball team. It is located at the corner of Eighth and Fowler Streets. Free parking for Tech softball games is available across Eighth Street in the big lot adjacent to the Alexander Memorial Coliseum.