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Georgia Tech Opens 2021 ACC Championship with No. 8 Seed Syracuse

Bracket | Tournament Central

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech softball (19-25, 11-19 ACC) is set to kick off the 2021 ACC Championship as the No. 9 seed against No. 8 seed Syracuse (20-23, 12-20 ACC) on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Louisville, Ky. The winner will advance to face No. 1 seed Clemson in the Quarterfinals on Thursday at 11 a.m.

Tournament Schedule

TV

All tournament competition will be broadcast live on ACC Network up to the Championship, which has recently been updated to be aired on ESPN as opposed to ESPN2.

Storylines

  • The Jackets enter postseason play riding a five-game winning streak to close out the regular season after downing Kennesaw State and sweeping ACC foe Virginia in a four-game series to conclude the regular season. Senior first baseman Tricia Awald garnered ACC Player of the Week honors after a nearly perfect weekend at the dish through Georgia Tech’s vital sweep of Virginia, leading the Jackets batting .714 as she went 5-for-7 with two homers (including a grand slam), five RBI and three runs scored.
  • Tech received five yearly ACC honors this season. Catcher Emma Kauf was named both All-ACC First Team and to the ACC All-Freshman Team, Awald was also selected to the All-ACC First Team, outfielder Cameron Stanford earned her third consecutive All-ACC Second Team selection and outfielder Breanna Roper was voted All-ACC Third Team.
  • The Yellow Jackets were scheduled to take on the Orange during the regular season, but the road series was postponed due to inclement weather.
  • The Jackets continue to flex their power this season as they’re currently second in the ACC and 24th in the NCAA in home runs per game (1.25).
  • Each of Georgia Tech’s four All-ACC honorees along with outfielder Crosby Huckabay have jacked eight or more homeruns on the season. Eight total Jackets have gone yard multiple times this season as Awald leads the team with 11 dingers this year.
  • Along with that power, Tech has efficiently put runners on, ranking second in the conference in on-base percentage (0.381).
  • A big part of the Jackets’ proficiency in reaching base comes from strong plate discipline as they’re currently third in the ACC and 29th in the country in walks (158).
  • Through that success at the dish, Georgia Tech maintains some of the best averages in the conference, ranking fifth in batting average (.282) and slugging percentage (0.472) in the ACC.
  • In the field, the Yellow Jackets have displayed solid glove work this season as they’re marked fourth in the ACC in fielding percentage (0.971).
  • True freshman Jin Sileo turned the first triple play on record in program history against Clemson earlier this season (L6-6U-63), earning recognition as the top play of the week by the NCAA. Her triple play is one of eight across the nation this season.
  • Three Jackets have now earned ACC Player of the Week recognition this season. Along with Awald, sophomore Kauf earned ACC Player of the Week and sophomore pitcher Blake Neleman was named ACC Co-Pitcher of the week for their performances in the season opening Buzz Classic.
  • Awald brings power and consistency as she’s currently 19th in the nation and second in the ACC in on-base percentage at (0.548). Her team-leading 0.413 batting average and 0.736 slugging percentage currently mark her fourth in the ACC in both categories.
  • Stanford has thrived at the dish with runners on, currently ranking seventh in the ACC in RBI per game (0.84). The outfielder has a knack for coming through in the biggest moments as she has a seventh-inning grand slam and an 11th-inning walk-off two-run homerun against Louisville to her name this season.
  • Senior utility player Breanna Roper has been among the conference’s best in making her way around the base path this year as she’s second in the league in runs per game averaging 0.95 per contest.
  • Neleman retains some of the best marks of the pitching staff, tossing eight complete games for wins with a pair of shutouts. The Marietta, Ga. native has piled up 96 strikeouts in 93 2/3 innings of work.

Series Notes

  • Georgia Tech holds a 7-5 advantage over Syracuse in the all-time series.
  • The Yellow Jackets have taken the last three contests, sweeping the most recent series against the Orange on The Flats in 2019.
  • The Jackets won the only previous neutral matchup, downing Syracuse in the first meeting between the two programs in 2002.

NOTE: ACC Network Extra (ACCNX) programming is available online via the ESPN app or WatchESPN.com. Viewers must subscribe to a cable/satellite/digital provider that carries the ACC Network to view ACCNX programming.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

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 Support The Swarm Fund, which helps Georgia Tech athletics offset the significant financial challenges associated with Covid-19, and 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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