May 20, 2006
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman Blair Shimandle went 2-for-4, with a home run and three runs batted in and junior Sarah Wood (20-7) worked 5.1 strong innings, allowing one run and one hit, to lead No. 2 seed Georgia Tech (48-21) past No. 3 seed Florida A&M (40-25), 10-7, at the NCAA Tuscaloosa Softball Regional on Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets advance to the regional championship game on Sunday versus top-seed and No. 4 Alabama (51-9). Tech must defeat the Crimson Tide twice to advance to the NCAA Super Regional.
Junior Daisy Paez went 2-for-3, with a home run (5) and two RBIs, while sophomores Savannah Brown and senior Christine Sheridan each had two hits for the Jackets. Senior Amy Hosier and junior Caitlin Lever extended their respective hitting streaks to seven and six games for Tech.
Hosier walked with one out and freshman Whitney Haller doubled off the left-center field wall to put Jackets at second and third with no outs in the top of the first inning. Lever walked to load the bases, but FAMU’s Tiffany Johnson got out of the inning with a shallow fly ball to right field and a strikeout to keep Tech off the scoreboard.
The Lady Rattlers’ Danielle Brown doubled down the left field line to plate the first run of the game in the bottom half of the first inning as FAMU led 1-0.
Shimandle tied the game for Tech in the top of the second inning with a triple to right-center field on a hit-and-run by the Jackets which allowed junior Kristina Hull to score from first base after a walk with one out. Sheridan followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Shimandle and the Jackets scored an unearned run on consecutive FAMU errors as Tech led 3-1.
Paez extended Tech’s lead to four runs with a two-run blast to left field, her fifth of the season, as the Yellow Jackets went on top, 5-1. With two outs, Shimandle struck her second inside-the-park home run of the season to center field as the FAMU outfielder tried to make a diving catch which went past her to the wall. After a base hit by Sheridan, Hosier doubled to right-center field to plate Sheridan and increase Tech’s lead to six, 7-1.
Hull singled to right field with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the fourth inning, sophomore Aileen Morales scored on a passed ball and Shimandle drove in the final run of the inning to push the Tech advantage to nine, 10-1.
FAMU’s Rhianna Green hit the game’s second inside-the-park home run with a runner on first base to score two runs for the Lady Rattlers, while Brown and Johnson each drove in runs to bring the Lady Rattlers within in five runs, 10-5. Kelly Gordon then doubled to right-center field to plate the fifth run of the inning for FAMU and Alacia Strafford added the sixth as Tech’s lead shrunk to three, 10-7.
Tech scored 10 runs, on 12 hits and had no errors, while Florida A&M scored seven runs, on eight hits and committed three errors.
NOTES: Jackets scored 10 runs for the 15th time this season … Tech tallied 10 hits or more for the 23rd time of the season … Tech advances to its second straight NCAA Regional Championship Game.