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Jackets Fly by Owls, 8-0 (6)

KENNESAW, Ga. – Georgia Tech softball (17-15, 2-7 ACC) cruised by Kennesaw State (12-20, 4-2 ASUN) in an 8-0 (6) triumph on Tuesday night at Bailey Park. In the fourth mercy-rule victory of the season, seniors Emma Kauf and Blake Neleman buoyed the Yellow Jackets as both reached personal milestones on the night.

Kauf led the White and Gold at the plate, going 3-for-4 on the night while tying single-game highs of two doubles and four RBI. The decorated backstop also etched her name once more into the Tech record books as she tied Lindsay Wood (2000-03) for fifth in program history in career doubles with 44 to date.

Neleman (5-6) pitched a gem of a two-hit, complete-game shutout for the win. In six innings of work, the unflappable hurler racked up seven strikeouts to surpass the century mark on the season with 101 punchouts and counting.

As a unit, Georgia Tech reached double digit triples on the season for the first time since 2014, owning 10 total behind sophomore right fielder Madison Dobbins’ second three-bagger of the year.

How it Happened

Dobbins single-handedly moved the Yellow Jackets in front in the top of the second, leading off the inning with her aforementioned triple and scampering home shortly after on a wild pitch.

Georgia Tech broke the game open in the top of the fourth, batting around to tack on four more runs. The Jackets loaded the bases after a miscue in the outfield and back-to-back walks, setting up sophomore pinch hitter Emma Minghini’s infield single that scored the first run of the frame. With the bases still clogged, an ensuing walk pushed home the second run of the inning, and Kauf next roped her first two-RBI double down the first-base line to give the White and Gold a 5-0 advantage.

The Yellow Jackets put the nail in the coffin with three more runs in the top of the sixth. Freshman left fielder Paige Vukadinovich singled to get things started and later scored from second on junior shortstop Jin Sileo’s rocket of her own down the first-base line. Following a pinpoint bunt single by sophomore center fielder Ella Edgmon, both runners advanced into scoring position on a double steal. The move set up an identical, two-RBI double off the bat of Kauf, pushing Tech into mercy-rule territory with an 8-0 lead.

Neleman dealt one final frame like she had all game, retiring the side to cement an 8-0, run-rule triumph in six innings for the Jackets.

Game Notes

  • Kauf barreled two doubles in the contest, tying tied Lindsay Wood (2000-03) for fifth all-time in career doubles with 44.
  • Neleman’s seven strikeouts bumped her over the century mark as she’s now sat down 101 batters this season.
  • The outing was Neleman’s fourth complete game this year, but her first shutout this season.
  • The White and Gold now own four victories by mercy-rule this season, with the first three ending in five innings and the triumph over the Kennesaw State concluding in six frames.
  • Dobbins’ triple marked her second of the season and her career.
  • Tech now owns double-digit triples (10) in a season for the first time since 2014.
  • With two wins over the in-state foe this season, the Yellow Jackets have now bested the Owls in five straight contests.
  • Georgia Tech now leads Kennesaw State 25-10 in the all-time series, including a 12-5 edge on the road.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will remain on the road for its next conference series, heading to No. 7 Florida State (26-7, 5-1 ACC) for the weekend. The Yellow Jackets will begin their series against the Seminoles on Friday at 6 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla. Game one of the series will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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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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