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Haller Leads Tech Softball Past Virginia, 10-2 & 7-4

March 25, 2006

Box Score

ATLANTA – Freshman Whitney Haller blasted her 12th home run of the season on Saturday afternoon, and picked up saves in both ends of a doubleheader, as Georgia Tech defeated Virginia, 10-2 (5 inn.) and 7-4, on Saturday at Glenn Field.

In game one, the Cavaliers (14-11, 1-4 ACC) struck first, opening a 2-0 lead in the top of the second as Sara Larquier delivered a two-run single with two out to score Lindsey Preuss and Erin Horn.

Tech (28-8, 5-0 ACC) answered back with four of its own in the bottom of the frame to take the lead which it wouldn’t reliquinsh. After a pair of Virginia errors and Stephanie Butler was hit by a pitch, Kacey Ivey drew a bases loaded walk, plating Tech’s first run of the afternoon. A run-scoring groundout by Aileen Morales knotted the score at 2-2, before Christine Sheridan and Savannah Brown added RBI singles to give Tech a 4-2 lead.

The Jackets added four more in the fourth to open the lead to 8-2. Following three walks to load the bases, Amy Hosier belted a three-run triple up the gap in right-center field, and later scored on Blair Shimandle’s two-out RBI double.

After holding the Cavs at bay in the top of the fifth, Tech closed out Virginia in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two out and no one on, Virginia reliever Madi Gore walked Christine Sheridan and Whitney Haller. Savannah Brown singled down the right field line to score Sheridan and move Haller to third base. On the first pitch to Amy Hosier, Haller broke down the third base line, before retreating and drawing a throw from Virginia catcher Michelle Salmiery. Third base umpire Deb Berens ruled on the play that Cavalier third baseman Sara Larquier obstructed with Haller who was retreating to third, and awarded Haller home plate for the Jackets’ 10th run, which provided the final 10-2 margin.

Starting pitcher Lacey Richardson (5-3) picked up the win on the mound for the Jackets in game one, allowing two runs and three hits in 3-1/3 innings of work. Virginia starter Erin Horn (5-4) took the loss, allowing four runs, all unearned, in one-plus inning on the mound. Haller earned the save in game one, her fourth, by throwing 1-2/3 shutout innings of relief.

In the nightcap, Virginia struck first again, plating two in the top of the third inning off Tech starter Sarah Wood. With two out, and runners on second and third, junior designated player Amy McKean reached safely on an error by Tech shortstop Christine Sheridan, which allowed Elea Crockett and Meghan O’Leary to score, and gave the Cavs an early 2-0 lead.

Tech struck back in the bottom of the third, as an run scoring fielder’s choice by Sheridan scored Stephanie Butler and a one-out single by Haller tied the game at 2-2.

The Jackets took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as after a leadoff double by Amy Hosier, Caitlin Lever singled to right field, moving Hosier to third before she proceeded to score on a bobble by O’Leary, moving Tech in front 3-2. An error by first baseman Brooke Sorber and a run-scoring ground out by Kristina Hull allowed for two additional runs to cross the plate and increased the Tech lead to 5-2.

Virginia countered with two of its own in the top of the fifth, as an RBI single by Crockett scored Erin Horn and Preuss proceeded to score on an error by Sheridan, narrowing the margin to 5-4.

Haller provided a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth, blasting her 12th home run of the season, providing the final 7-4 margin.

Wood (10-2) allowed four runs, one earned, and six hits in six innings of work to claim the victory on the mound. Cavalier starter Karla Wilburn (4-5) took the loss for Virginia, having allowed seven runs, five earned, in four innings. Haller pitched a scoreless seventh inning to pick up her fifth save of the year, and second of the day.

Tech and Virginia will wrap up their three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Glenn Field in Atlanta.

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