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Jackets Pounce on Panthers, 12-2 (5)

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech softball blew by UNI for a 12-2, mercy-rule victory in five innings on Friday night at Mewborn Field. The win marked the second run-rule triumph of the season for the Yellow Jackets (9-8) as they produced their highest scoring output and largest margin of victory of the season.

In the process, senior hurler Blake Neleman moved up to a tie for third in program history in career strikeouts as her nine punchouts in five innings of work propelled her up to 471 strikeouts on The Flats.

At the dish, first-time leadoff batter Madison Dobbins was flawless on the night as she went a career-high 4-for-4 with a double, her first collegiate triple and four RBI, matching her season RBI total for a career best. Sophomore second baseman Grace Connelly made her own mark with just one swing of the bat, launching her first career grand slam to break the game open early.

Georgia Tech built a substantial lead in the bottom of the second as Dobbins put the Jackets on the board with an RBI single. With the bases loaded and one down a batter later, Connelly stepped in and moved the White and Gold ahead 5-0 with her grand slam off the scoreboard in left.

The Yellow Jackets approached mercy-rule territory in the third, adding four more runs on four consecutive plays. A passed ball and sac fly allowed the first pair of runners to score, and Dobbins barreled an RBI triple in front of an RBI double by freshman outfielder Paige Vukadinovich, moving Tech ahead 9-0.

When the same duo got a chance at the plate in the bottom of the fourth, Dobbins and Vukadinovich drove in scores once more behind an RBI double for the former and an RBI single for the latter, pushing the Jackets further in front, 12-0.

UNI (6-7) took a couple of runs back with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth, but Neleman would close out the inning with her ninth strikeout of the day, securing a 12-2 (5) victory for the White and Gold.

Game Notes

  • Georgia Tech earned its first double-digit victory of the season and second mercy-rule triumph on the year.
  • With her nine sit downs on the evening, Neleman is now tied with Hope Rush (2010-13) for third in program history in career strikeouts with 471 to date. She’s now 17 strikeouts away from tying Erin Voeltz (2001-04) for second all time.
  • Neleman (3-3) received the win as she tossed her third complete game of the season, she racked up her second highest strikeout tally of the season (nine) while allowing just three hits in five innings pitched.
  • Dobbins, now on a six-game hitting streak, set a multitude of single-game personal bests, including four hits, four RBI and a triple.
  • The Dacula, Ga., native continues to lead the Yellow Jackets in doubles as she increased her tally on the year to six.
  • Connelly’s grand slam marks the first of her career and second by a Yellow Jacket this season as she tied her season high of four RBI with the swing. Junior third baseman Mallorie Black belted the first grand slam of the season in Tech’s previous run-rule victory over Georgia State, 10-1 (5).
  • Vukadinovich also served as a spark for the White and Gold, going 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI after entering in the bottom of the second.
  • Tech’s 12 runs were the most in a single game this season, surpassing the previous mark of 10 in a 10-9 win over Georgia State. The 10-run advantage also bests the nine-run triumph over the Panthers.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will continue hosting the I-75 Tournament, taking on Southern Miss (13-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Mewborn Field for day two. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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