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Jackets Power Past Longwood in Doubleheader

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech softball (3-3) went off for seven homeruns in a pair of run-rule victories over Longwood (1-5) on Sunday afternoon at Mewborn Field. Senior Mallorie Black hit a walk off homerun in the sixth inning to give the Yellow Jackets their first win (9-1 in six innings) before freshman Gracyn Tucker delivered her first collegiate homerun to walk off game two, 10-2, in five innings.

QUICK HITS

  • The Yellow Jackets hit seven homeruns as a team today, with three in the opening game and four in the second.
  • Junior Ella Edgmon got the party started, blasting a two-run shot to left in game one. It was her third-career homerun and her first at Mewborn Field.
  • Just one batter later, senior Sara Beth Allen tallied her first homerun of the year to right center. It was her 15th career homer after leading the team with 13 last season.
  • Allen reached base in all three of her at-bats in game one (1 for 1 with two walks and a HR). It was her second time doing so this season after going 1 for 1 with two walks in the season opener against Villanova (Feb. 8).
  • Allen recorded hits in both games today to bring her hitting streak to a career-best six games.
  • Black ended the game in the sixth with her second homerun of the weekend, bringing her career total to 12.
  • The four homeruns in game two is tied for the most in a single game since March 10, 2019 (at Virginia Tech) and tied for the most at Mewborn Field since Feb. 21, 2015 (vs. Savannah State).
  • Junior Madison Dobbins connected for a pair of homeruns, including her first-career grand slam in game two. It was her second career multi-homerun game after also doing so at Pitt last season (April 15, 2023).
  • Dobbins finished with 5 RBI in game two, a new career high. She ties Black and Abby Hughes for the most RBI in a single game since the 2021 season.
  • Sophomore Reese Hunter connected for a two-run homerun in the fifth inning of game two, her first of the year and fourth as a Jacket.
  • Tucker walked off the second game with a solo homerun, her first collegiate HR. She finished the day going 4 for 5 with a walk, two RBI and three runs scored.
  • Both Dobbins and Tucker went 3 for 3 in the second game. With Dobbins leading the team with three runs scored.
  • 12 of Georgia Tech’s 19 runs scored today came via the long ball.
  • The offense was firing on all cylinders today with nine Jackets coming across to score and eight doing so multiple times.
  • 10 Jackets reached base across both games as the team posted a slash line of .388 Avg / .475 OBP / .878 SLG for the day.
  • Not to be out-done, the Tech pitchers enjoyed a banner day in the circle, pitching 11.0 innings between Sophia Voyles (career-high 5.1 IP), Blake Neleman (4.0 IP), Jaidyn Studebaker (1.0 IP) and Makayla Coffield (0.2 IP) without allowing an earned run.
  • The pitching staff allowed only seven hits across both games, striking out 12 and allowing only one extra base hit.
  • Neleman set a new season best with eight strikeouts across 4.0 innings of work as the starter in game two.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Game 1 vs. Longwood

Sophia Voyles made her second start of the season, pitching a career-best 5.1 innings without allowing an earned run. The Lancers got on the board in the top of the second inning, after an uncharacteristic error from the defense. Following the run, Voyles found her groove, retiring each of the next 12 batters she faced until she was relieved in the top of the sixth inning by Coffield. Coffield did well to force weak contact from the Longwood hitters, retiring both batters she faced. In total, the Tech pitchers combined to retire 14 straight Longwood hitters from the 2nd inning through the end of the game.

The Tech bats came alive in the third inning, posting seven runs on five hits while sending 12 batters to the plate. The inning began with a leadoff walk from Emma Minghini, working back from an 0-2 count to reach base. She was driven in five pitches later by Edgmon’s blast to give Tech the 2-1 lead. Allen followed suit with a solo homer one batter later to make it 3-1. With two out and the bases empty, Black worked a walk, also after being down 0-2, and stole second to put herself in scoring position. Black’s baserunning immediately paid off as she was driven in with a double by Jayden Gailey, her first RBI of the new year. Grace Connelly and Tucker reached base and were brought home by Minghini, in her second AB of the inning, with a bloop single to right field, resulting in a seven-run inning for the Jackets and giving them a commanding, 7-1 lead through three.

Connelly brought the Jackets within one run of mercy rule conditions in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly to drive in Sara Beth Allen. In the bottom of the sixth, Black walked it off with a solo homerun on the very first pitch to bring the first game to a close, 9-1.

Game 2 vs. Longwood

Blake Neleman took the ball in the circle to start for Tech in the second game, after the first two Longwood hitters reached base, single and error, she struck out the Lancers’ No. 3 and 4 hitters before allowing a single for the games’ opening run. She would allow only three baserunners over her next four innings while adding in six more strikeouts, striking out the side in the top of the second for good measure. Studebaker took over in the fifth inning, after the Tech bats had gotten out to a 7-1 lead, getting out of the fifth with only one unearned run allowed thanks to a great defensive play by Black who collected a hard hit groundball at third, tagged the runner on third base and fired a rope to first for the inning ending double play.

Dobbins quickly tied the score in the bottom of the first, ripping a homerun to dead center on the first pitch of her at bat. The Tech offense never slowed down from there, making multiple hits in every inning and scoring at least one run in each. Tucker secured her first collegiate RBI in the bottom of the second, singling to right with two outs to drive in Connelly who doubled to leadoff the inning. In the third, it was Allen, singling to center to bring in Dobbins after she singled and stole second, giving Tech a 3-1 lead after three.

Hunter, Tucker and Edgmon all reached base consecutively with one out in the fourth inning, allowing for Dobbins to connect for her first-career grand slam, putting Tech up 7-1 after four. The bottom of the fifth saw the Jackets three runs away from a mercy rule, up 7-2. Minghini singled and was driven in by Hunter’s two-run blast to left field to put Tech in front, 9-2m only for Tucker to cap off a 3 for 3 day with her first-career homerun in the very next at bat, sending the fans home happy with a 10-2 final score.

UP NEXT­­
The Jackets will have a few days to rest and prepare for the 2024 Shriners Children’s Clearwater Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. Tech will play six games from Feb. 15-18, beginning with a 10 a.m. game against Stanford that will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and 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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