March 9, 2002
PLEASANTON, Calif. – The Georgia Tech softball team (18-6, 0-0 ACC) dropped a pair of hard-fought games to No. 7 Arizona State, 5-4, and Virginia, 6-4, Saturday, eliminating the Jackets from the National Invitational Softball Tournament at the Pleasanton Softball Complex. The losses snapped Tech’s 10-game winning streak.
In the opening game, the Sun Devils got on the board first, scoring four runs on five hits in the bottom of the second. The first run scored on a RBI single by ASU right fielder Adrianna Garcia. The ball hit off the right foot of Tech starter Jessica Sallinger and bounded into center field, allowing the run to score. Sallinger finished the inning but was replaced by Tiffany Goodman in the bottom of the third.
Tech responded with four runs of its own in the top of the fourth, evening the score. Left fielder Tara Neff struck out but reached first on a passed ball to start the inning. She moved to second on a single by shortstop Tara Knudsen and then scored on a RBI double by catcher Lindsay Wood. A triple by center fielder Sara Wissmann plated Knudsen and Wood, making the count 4-3. After a pair of strikeouts, designated player Mimi Utt singled over the outstretched shortstop to even the score at four.
Arizona State reclaimed the lead, 5-4, in its half of the fifth, as a RBI single by third baseman Phelan Wright scored shortstop Kara Brun from third. That run would prove to be the difference, as Tech would be unable to even the score.
Goodman (3-1), who allowed just two hits and one run in three innings of work, took the loss for the Jackets.
Offensively, Tech was led by Wissmann, who went 2-for-3 with a run scored and two runs batted in. Wood also had two hits.
Tech found itself in a hole to start the Virginia game, as the Cavaliers scored two in the first on a double by designated player Kristin Dennis.
Virginia extended its lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth. With two on and first base open, Tech intentionally walked Dennis to load the bases. Virginia catcher Stephanie Calhoun then singled past second base to score two runs.
The Jackets were held hitless by Virginia starter Erin Allinder until Knudsen ripped a triple to center field in the fourth inning. That hit was lone safety for the Jackets until left fielder Kirin Kumar legged out an infield single to start the bottom of the seventh.
Kumar’s single started the Yellow Jacket rally. A Knudsen walk and a single by Wood loaded the bases. Wissmann’s triple cleared the bases and put Tech within a run. With one out, right fielder Soraya Reddick lifted a sacrifice fly to left field and Wissmann beat the throw home, tying the score at four.
After both teams squandered scoring chances in the eighth and ninth innings, Virginia pushed a pair across in the top of the tenth. First baseman Heather Owings and second baseman Jill Bumler each drove in one run, giving the Cavaliers a 6-4 lead.
Tech was unable to answer in its half of the inning, as Dennis fanned the side to earn the win.
Voeltz was solid in her six innings of work, allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Goodman came on in the seventh and retired the side in order, and Sallinger entered to pitch the extra frames. She allowed just two hits and two runs (one earned) in three innings pitched. Her record falls to 9-3 with the loss.
Kumar led the Jackets with two hits in the game, while Wissmann added three RBI, giving her five on the day.
Tech returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Troy State for a doubleheader.