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Fighting Illini Escape Jackets, 4-3

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech softball was edged by Illinois, 4-3, in the final game of the ACC/B1G Challenge on Sunday afternoon at Mewborn Field. After surrendering a two-run lead in the fifth, the Yellow Jackets (4-5) moved the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position before the Fighting Illini (5-4) made the final out to hang on.

Illinois got on the board with its first at-bat of the game by way of a solo shot. Despite hanging no more runs in the inning, the Fighting Illini would cling to that narrow lead until the top of the fourth.

In Tech’s second opportunity through the order, leadoff right fielder Paige Vukadinovich opened the inning with a triple before senior left fielder Emma Kauf knocked her home. An already hot designated player Sara Beth Allen stepped to the plate next, bolstering her impressive weekend with her third dinger of the weekend and fourth of her career. The two-run blast gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-1 lead they would carry into the fifth.

In the bottom of the frame, Illinois inched back in front behind a pair of RBI singles and a run on a fielder’s choice to slip back ahead, 4-3.

Following a quiet sixth inning, Tech led off the seventh with a single by freshman catcher Reese Hunter. As the inning played out, another single by junior shortstop Jin Sileo and a wild pitch resulted in Tech runners on second and third, but the Badgers shut the door before the Jackets could do any more damage, surviving with a 4-3 win.

Softball vs. Illinois

February 19, 2023 (Brady McBride)

Game Notes

  • Allen has launched a home run on three straight days, bringing her total to four for her career.
  • Vukadinovich owns two of Tech’s three triples this season. The White and Gold tallied six triples as a team last season led by Kauf with two.
  • As three pitchers saw action in the circle, sophomore righty Kinsey Norton shouldered the lion’s share of the load. The Woodstock, Ga., native picked up four strikeouts while allowing two runs on two hits in four innings of work.
  • Senior hurler Chandler Dennis (2-3) received the loss after pitching the final two innings.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will play host in a midweek for the first time this season, awaiting Kennesaw State for a 5 p.m. contest on Tuesday at Mewborn Field. The game 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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