May 15, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Junior Jessica Sallinger (28-7) tied a single-season Tech best with her 28th win of the season, firing a two-hitter to lead No. 24 Georgia Tech (43-16) over Virginia (38-26), 4-1, in an elimination game at the Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Tournament at the Seminole Softball Complex on Saturday morning. Sallinger fanned 10 in the game, surpassing 10 K’s or more for the 19th time this season.
Senior Tara Knudsen drove in a run and tied the single-season school record with her 37th walk of the season this morning, finishing 1-for-2, with one RBI and a stolen base. Senior Sara Wissmann smacked her third home run of the season, ending 1-for-3, while junior Katie Donovan finished 1-for-2, with a walk, one run scored and one RBI, to pace the Yellow Jacket bats.
UVa’s Heather Field posed the first threat of the game in the third inning. Field walked with one out and stole second base with two outs to give the Cavaliers their first scoring threat. Sallinger tallied the final out of the inning with a fly ball to center field as the game moved to the bottom half of the inning scoreless.
Freshman first baseman Kristina Hull started the third inning for Tech with a walk. Hull advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by junior third baseman Kirin Kumar. Senior center fielder Soraya Reddick then walked to put runners at first and second with one out for the Jackets. Hull and Reddick pulled off a double steal to move over to second and third. Knudsen then plated the second run of the inning for Tech with a line drive off the UVa pitcher’s leg as the Rambling Wreck had runners at the corners with one out. Knudsen stole second base on the next pitch and Donovan was picked off at third base on a 2-4-3 pick off play for the second out of the inning. The Jackets’ Liz Bartle then grounded out to second base to end the inning as Tech led 2-0 after three complete innings.
Sophomore right fielder Amy Hosier had a leadoff walk to start for the fourth for Tech and senior catcher Tasha Waugh followed with a double over the left fielder’s head to place runners at second and third with no outs. Virginia’s Erin Horn picked up a big strikeout for the first out of the inning. Hull drove in the third run of the game for the Yellow Jackets with a fielder’s choice to the shortstop as Hosier slid in safely at the plate. Hull stole second base to put two runners in scoring position. Horn tallied her second strikeout of the inning and the inning ended as Reddick lined out to the first baseman, giving Tech a three-run lead heading to the fifth inning.
UVa’s Jackie Greer broke up Sallinger’s no-hitter in the top of the fifth inning with a double to left-center field. Greer advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt and Sallinger retired the final out of the inning on her own, catching a pop fly off Field’s bat.
Donovan earned a leadoff walk to start the bottom half of the fifth for the Rambling Wreck. Horn was relieved in the circle by UVa’s Joanna Barstad. Knudsen lined to second base, but the UVa middle infielder dropped the ball and started a 4-6-3 double play for the Cavaliers. Bartle then grounded out to short to end the inning for Tech.
Wissmann extended Tech’s lead to four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run as Tech led 4-0. Virginia’s Sara Larquier hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to end Sallinger’s shutout bid as Tech went on to win, 4-1.
Tech scored four runs, on four hits and had no errors, while UVa scored one run, on two hits and had no errors. Georgia Tech will face the winner of No. 5 seed NC State and No. 6 seed Maryland at 5:30 p.m. today in the elimination bracket. Live stats will be provided on www.ramblinwreck.com.