April 23, 2005
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech’s Stephanie Savre hit a walk-off grand slam with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Hokies over No. 18 Georgia Tech, 9-5, in the opener of an Atlantic Coast Conference three-game series on Saturday at the Tech Softball Park. In the nightcap, freshman Savannah Brown and junior Christine Sheridan drove in three runs each and sophomore Sarah Wood (14-2) worked 6 1/3 strong innings, allowing two earned runs, to lead the Yellow Jackets (43-10, 10-3 ACC) to an 10-3 win over the Hokies (35-18, 3-11 ACC) for a split on the day.
Senior Jessica Sallinger (22-7) threw a complete game in the opener, allowing seven hits, nine earned runs and struck out 12. Sophomore Daisy Paez hit two home runs and finished 3-for-4, with five runs batted in, on the afternoon. Paez tied a single-game Tech record with home runs on consecutive at bats in the opener. The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Jackets.
Paez connected on her third and fourth home runs of the season in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, with a solo shot in the fifth and a two-run shot in the sixth, to push the Jackets’ lead to four, 4-0.
The Hokies rallied to take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with five runs. Savre drove in the first run of the inning with a single up the middle and Sarah Prosise and Kathleen Jones hit consecutive home runs, a three-run and solo homer, respectively, to provide the offense for Virginia Tech.
Senior Liz Bartle came in to pinch hit for the Jackets with one out and earned a walk. Freshman Kacey Ivey re-entered the game to run for Bartle and advanced to second on a ground out by senior Kirin Kumar. Freshman Aileen Morales came through with a two-out infield single to second base to drive in Ivey and tie the game at 5-5.
The Hokies’ Kelly Brown hit a soft liner down the left field line that squirted away from Hosier and rolled to the fence to record a triple to leadoff the seventh inning. Sallinger registered her 12th strikeout of the game for the first out of the inning and intentionally walked the next two Hokie batters to load the bases. Savre then hit a walk-off grand slam to vault the Hokies over the Jackets, 9-5, in the opener.
In game two, Freshman Savannah Brown smashed her sixth home run of the season in the top of the second inning for a three-run home run to center field to put the Jackets ahead 3-0.
The Jackets looked like they were going to take a three-run lead to the third inning, but Kumar dropped an easy throw by Wood with two outs to allow the Hokies to score an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning as Tech led 3-1 after two innings of play.
Sophomore Caitlin Lever hammered a ball off the 220-foot sign above center field fence, but the umpires ruled that it was in play as Lever ended up with a triple to leadoff the top of the fourth inning for the Jackets. Lever came in to score on an RBI ground out by Sheridan as the Jackets increased their lead to three, 4-1.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Sheridan singled up the middle and Paez singled down the right field line to each drive in two runs as the Jackets led 8-1.
Virginia Tech’s Megan Evans tallied a two-run home run to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning to bring the Hokies within five, 8-3.
Morales pushed the Yellow Jackets’ advantage to seven runs for the second time in the game with a triple to center field to score two more runs as the Rambling Wreck earned a split on the day with a 10-3 decision.
The Yellow Jackets and Hokies will play the rubber game of the ACC series on Sunday at 1 p.m.