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Jackets Cruise Past Cavaliers, 5-2

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Georgia Tech softball (13-8, 1-0 ACC) rolled past Virginia (17-6, 0-1 ACC) for a 5-2 victory in its first conference contest on Friday night at Palmer Park.  Having won five consecutive contests, the Yellow Jackets contained the Cavaliers from the circle, allowing just two hits on the day.

The White and Gold put the ball in the hands of senior hurler Blake Neleman (4-3) for most of the matchup as she received the win, allowing just one hit in 4.2 innings pitched. With four strikeouts on the night, the decorated Jacket moved into a tie with Erin Voeltz (2001-04) for second in program history in career strikeouts with 488 to date.

Fellow right hander Chandler Dennis picked up her first save of the season as well, allowing no runs on one hit in 2.1 innings of work.

At the plate, junior third and first basemen Mallorie Black and Abby Hughes both went yard as Black tied the team lead with five on the season while Hughes belted the first of her collegiate career.

Leadoff batter Emma Kauf was steady throughout the contest, going 2-for-3 while scoring a pair of runs. Sophomore second baseman Grace Connelly joined Kauf with multiple hits, most notably roping a two-RBI double as she finished 2-for-4 on the day. Junior designated player Sara Beth Allen also torched an RBI double to send in the first run of the day for the Jackets.

How it Happened

The Yellow Jackets wasted no time getting started, jumping ahead in the top of the first. Kauf led off the inning with a walk and stole second to move into scoring position, setting up an RBI double by Allen for a 1-0 advantage.

After a scoreless second, the Cavaliers slipped in front in the third, using an infield single to score a pair for a 2-1 lead.

Tech bounced right back in the top of the fourth, evening the tally with one swing of the bat as Black launched a solo shot over left center.

The White and Gold threw another jab in the fifth, putting runners on the corners with a leadoff walk and a Kauf single, allowing the Jackets’ RBI leader Connelly to increase her season tally to 20 with a two-RBI double for a 4-2 Tech lead.

The Jackets padded their lead in the top of the sixth as junior first baseman annihilated her first collegiate home run into the home bullpen. Dennis closed out the seventh, picking up her first save of the season to secure Georgia Tech’s first victory of conference play, 5-2.

Game Notes

  • Georgia Tech is on a five-game winning streak dating back to March 3.
  • Throughout the tear, the White and Gold have only surrendered five runs in five games.
  • The Yellow Jackets opened conference play with a victory for the first time since the 2020 season.
  • The White and Gold have now won six consecutive contests over Virginia and 11 of the last 12 matchups against the Hoos.
  • Neleman is now tied for second all-time in career strikeout with 488 to date. With 12 more punchouts, Neleman would become just the second Jacket to reach 500 in a single career.
  • Hughes’ dinger marked the first of her career.
  • With her solo shot, Black is now tied for the team lead in home runs with five bombs this season while owning eight in her career.
  • Kauf increased her hitting streak to six games as she’s also reached base in eight straight contests.

Multimedia

Up Next

Georgia Tech will have a chance to clinch the series against Virginia in game two on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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 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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