March 5, 2006
MARIETTA, Ga. – Senior Christine Sheridan was named most valuable player after going 6-for-10 in three games, with three doubles and two runs batted in, to lead Georgia Tech (17-4) to three wins on Sunday to claim its first ever Buzz Classic Championship with wins over South Dakota State (5-5), 8-1, Radford (11-6), 6-4, and NC State (15-7), 7-1, at Al Bishop Softball Complex.
“I like what we accomplished this weekend and it’s a confidence builder,” said Ehren Earleywine. “We continued to learn about some of the adjustments that some of our players need to make as we move forward in the season.”
The Yellow Jackets push their win streak to 11 games, the second longest streak in school history.
“Of course winning your own tournament is nice and it’s something that has never been done,” said Earleywine. “But more importantly than a plaque, is that we are playing better softball and making strides towards our end of the season goals.”
Sophomore hurler Whitney Humphreys (10-1) threw her second complete game of the season against South Dakota State, allowing one run, on four hits and struck out a career-high 11. She returned to the circle for Tech in the championship game, working all seven innings, allowing four hits, one run and struck out four.
In the championship game against the Wolfpack, the Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by freshman Whitney Haller and a two-run double by junior Kristina Hull.
The Pack’s Lisa Nentwig singled into right field to plate a run for NC State in the bottom of the fifth inning as Tech’s lead shrunk to 3-1.
Tech scored a run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a RBI single by Hosier and Sheridan drove in a run for the Jackets in the bottom of the sixth inning before two more unearned runs cross the plate on an error by the Wolfpack shortstop as Tech led 7-1.
Tech scored seven runs, on six hits and committed two errors, while NC State scored one run, on four hits and committed two errors.
In the semifinal game against Radford, Tech drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning on RBI singles by sophomore Savannah Brown and Hosier as three runs crossed the plate and the Rambling Wreck led 3-0.
After Radford pushed across an unearned run in the top of the fourth inning, sophomore Stephanie Butler hit her first career home run to right field to plate two runs for the Jackets to push the advantage to 5-1.
RU’s Cassie Rhones hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to put the Highlanders back in the game as Tech led only by two, 6-4.
Junior Sarah Wood (4-1) worked six strong innings, allowing three hits, one run, no earned runs and fanned one against the Highlanders. Butler drove in two runs, while Haller and Hosier went 2-for-3 to lead Tech offensively against the Highlanders.
Sheridan tied a school record, finishing 4-for-4, with two doubles, and one RBI, while Haller went 3-for-4, with three RBIs and a home run (8) in the quarterfinal game.
In the quarterfinals against SDSU, Haller put Tech ahead in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI single to center field as the Jackets led early, 1-0.
SDSU’s Steph Kuhl homered in the top of the second inning to tie the game at 1-1. The Jackets pulled off a double steal in the bottom half, senior Christine Sheridan doubled off the center field fence and scored on consecutive wild pitches and Haller homered to right field, her fourth of the tournament, as Tech regained the lead, 5-1.
Haller posted her third hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning to drive in Sheridan who doubled to left-center field and freshman Blair Shimandle drove in the second run with an infield single as the Rambling Wreck increased their lead to six, 7-1.
Hosier led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run to left-center field, her second of the tourney, to give Tech an 8-1 win.
Tech scored eight runs, on a season-high 15 hits and had one error, while SDSU scored one run, on four hits and had no errors.
The Yellow Jackets will travel Clearwater, Fla., for the USF adidas Invitational, March 9-12. Tech will face Michigan State at 1 p.m. and South Florida at 6 p.m.