May 21, 2005
ATHENS, Ga. – Senior Kirin Kumar and sophomore Caitlin Lever each drove in two runs and freshman Whitney Humphreys (8-1) picked up the win in relief, throwing the final four innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, to lead No. 17 Georgia Tech (51-13) past the second-seeded Kansas Jayhawks (31-24), 5-2, on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets advance to the NCAA Athens Regional final for a rematch with No. 8 Georgia on Sunday at Noon.
Senior Jessica Sallinger (28-8) started the game for Tech in the circle, working three strong innings, allowing one hit and struck out two. She pitched the earlier game for the Jackets and was kept on a pitch count. Junior Amy Hosier posted the game-winning RBI on a walk with the bases loaded and finished 1-for-2 at the plate.
The Jackets jumped on the Jayhawks early as Kumar singled down the left field line in the bottom of the first inning with two outs and the bases loaded to plate Hosier and junior Christine Sheridan, who drew walks, as Tech led 2-0.
Tech loaded the bases for a second consecutive inning in the bottom of the second as junior Lauren Schlechte walked, Hosier and Lever tallied infield singles with one out. Sheridan hit into a fielder’s choice as the Jayhawks recorded the second out of the inning at home plate and senior Liz Bartle grounded out to first to end the threat.
KU got started in the top of the third inning, courtesy of an error by sophomore Daisy Paez at first base and a single by Nicole Washburn that put runners at second and third with one out. Sallinger walked the next batter to load the bases, but Sheridan made a nice play on a ground ball and fired home for the second out and Sallinger induced a pop out in the infield to end the inning and preserve the Jackets’ two-run lead.
For the third straight time in as many innings the Yellow Jackets loaded the bases, this time with two outs. Hosier posted the easiest RBI in the game with a walk to increase Tech’s advantage to 3-0. Lever delivered a two-out single up the middle to score two more runs for the Jackets and put Tech out in front by five, 5-0.
KU’s Jessica Moppin put the Jayhawks on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning with a monstrous shot to left field for a two-run home run as Tech’s lead shrunk to three, 5-2.
Kansas went down in order in the top of the seventh inning as Tech advanced to the NCAA Athens Regional final against archrival and top seed UGA. The Bulldogs defeated the Jackets, 8-1, earlier on Saturday afternoon and have to be beaten twice tomorrow for the Yellow Jackets to move to the Super Regional. Game time is set for Noon.