May 9, 2005
ATLANTA ¬ Senior Katie Donovan hit two home runs, including a walk-off three run blast in the bottom of the ninth, and senior Jessica Sallinger (24-7) allowed just two hits, one earned run and struck out 12, to lead No. 17 Georgia Tech (46-12) over Troy University (44-19), 4-2 in nine innings, in the opener of a doubleheader at Glenn Field on Monday. The Yellow Jackets dropped the nightcap, 8-2.
Donovan finished game one, 3-for-4, with four runs batted in, while senior Kirin Kumar finished 3-for-5 on the afternoon. Junior Lauren Schlechte went 2-for-3 in game two to lead the Jackets offensively.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel between Sallinger and Troy’s Kacie Flinn as neither team managed a run in the first three innings. Troy’s Tamra Howren gave the Trojans their first hit and lead of the game with a home run to center field as Tech trailed 1-0.
Donovan doubled off the left field fence with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Tech could not drive her in as the Jackets trailed 1-0 after five.
Kumar led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a base hit to center field and was removed in favor of a pinch runner, Stephanie Butler. Butler was thrown out at second base on a ground ball by freshman Aileen Morales. Morales then stole second base and advanced to third on a ground out. Troy removed Flinn from the circle in favor of Jocelyn McCallum. Junior Christine Sheridan and sophomore Daisy Paez drew consecutive walks to load the bases for Tech with two outs, but McCallum tallied a big strikeout to keep Tech off the scoreboard.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Donovan connected on her third home run of the season for the Yellow Jackets to tie the game at 1-1.
In the eighth inning, the teams used the international tiebreaker rule which places a runner on second base before the inning begins. The Trojans successfully advanced the runner to third base on a sacrifice bunt, but Sallinger tallied back-to-back strikeouts to end the top of the eighth. The Jackets were not able to push a run across in the eighth as the game moved to the ninth inning.
With the bases loaded and one out, Brittany Krbec hit a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Jenny Boyd who started on second base and moved over to third base on a sacrifice bunt as the Trojans regained the lead, 2-1.
Donovan responded for the Yellow Jackets again with her second home run of the game, tying a school record, with a walk-off three-run blast over the right field fence to lift Tech to a 4-2 come-from-behind victory.
In game two, the Jackets jumped out early, 1-0, as sophomore Caitlin Lever and Sheridan pulled off a successful double steal. Troy took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning as Howren and Bonnie Belin each drove in a run with two outs.
Howren put the Trojans up 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI single to center field as the Yellow Jackets trailed by two. The Trojans tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth inning as Tech committed two more errors and trailed by five, 6-1.
Brooke Powell extended the Trojans’ lead to seven in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run home run over the left field fence as the Jackets went down 8-1.
Tech mounted a small comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning as Schlechte and freshman Savannah Brown hit consecutive singles and senior Liz Bartle doubled to left-center field to plate Schlechte. The Trojans’ Flinn entered the circle and shut the door as Tech dropped game two, 8-2.
The Yellow Jackets will compete at the Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Tournament, May 12-15, in College Park, Md. Tech will be the No. 1 seed and take on the winner of North Carolina and NC State Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.