Feb. 25, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ga. – Tiffany Johnson (4-1) tossed her second complete game of the season, striking out a career-high 13, while senior Caitlin Lever and junior Brittany Barnes each homered as Georgia Tech (12-2) rallied for three runs in the seventh inning to top Tennessee Tech (7-7), 4-2, to capture the NFCA Leadoff Classic Title, along with No. 13 Michigan.
“I was really proud of the team for fighting all weekend long, especially today,” said Tech coach Sharon Perkins. “From the dugout, to the pitchers and hitters, we played like a team. It’s a real honor to win such a prestigious tournament and it really shows what type of team we can be when we play with intensity.”
In the other semifinal game in the Gold Championship bracket, No. 13 Michigan defeated Virginia Tech by a score of 1-0. The Wolverines and Yellow Jackets were unable to play in the title game due to time constraints.
Sophomore Blair Shimandle was a perfect 3-for-3 in the game, scoring one run. Lever finished the game 2-for-4, with one RBI, and Johnson finished 1-for-2 at the plate. Sophomore Whitney Haller extended her hitting streak to 11 games for the Jackets.
Lever and junior catcher Savannah Brown were named to the NFCA Leadoff All-Tournament Team. Johnson finished the weekend a perfect 3-0 in the circle, and struck out 33 during the weekend.
The Yellow Jackets posed the game’s first threat in the top of the third inning as sophomore Blair Shimandle singled through the right side and stole second base with two outs. Junior Aileen Morales then hit a ball up the middle that the TTU pitcher snagged and threw over to first base to record the final out.
TTU’s Katie Sutherland gave the Golden Eagles the first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning with a two-run blast to center field as the Jackets went down, 2-0.
The Rambling Wreck would finally break through in the top of the sixth inning as Lever blasted a 3-0 pitch over the right-center field fence to bring the Jackets within one, 2-1.
The Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to take their first lead of the game. Barnes started the inning with a game-tying jack to left field, while Haller and sophomore Jennifer Yee each drove in runs as Tech overcame a one-run deficit in the final inning.
Tech scored four runs, on nine hits and had no errors, while TTU scored two runs, on five hits and had one error.
The Yellow Jackets will take on Oakland University (2-2) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The single game will be played at Glenn Field and can be followed on www.ramblinwreck.com.