May 16, 2005
ATLANTA – The 16th-ranked Georgia Tech softball team (49-12) will compete in its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament after receiving an at-large bid for the NCAA Regional in Athens, Ga., Friday-Sunday, May 20-22, announced Sunday night by the NCAA Regional Committee.
“We certainly felt that after going 49-12 with a No. 16 national ranking and winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships, that we had an excellent chance to be a No. 1 seed,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “Unfortunately, that did not happen, but that doesn’t change how we feel about what we’ve accomplished and what we believe we can accomplish next.
“We are very excited to be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year against a very good Kansas team. All our focus now is on playing our best and working toward our next goal.”
The Yellow Jackets won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday with a 1-0 win against Virginia Tech and will be the No. 3 seed in Athens and face No. 2 seed Kansas (30-22) on Friday at 5 p.m.
The regional is a double-elimination bracket starting on Friday and ending on Sunday. The second-seeded Jayhawks and third-seeded Yellow Jackets will be the first game on Friday at 5 p.m. with No. 1 seed Georgia (51-13) and No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech (35-26) following at 7:30 p.m. The winners will meet on Saturday at Noon and the losers will play at 2:30 p.m.
The 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets defeated UGA earlier this season in Athens, 4-3, behind a strong pitching performance from ACC Pitcher of the Year and Tournament MVP Jessica Sallinger, but trail the all-time series 4-12. Tech holds a 1-0 advantage over KU in the all-time series, defeating the Jayhawks, 4-2, on Feb. 20, 1999. The Jackets are 8-9-1 in the all-time series meetings against Tennessee Tech, but Tech has won three straight in the series with the last match-up coming in 2002, when the Jackets won a 8-2 decision on March 22.
Tech cruised through the ACC Tournament this past weekend en route to its second ACC crown in four seasons. The Jackets blanked all three opponents, defeating No. 4 seed NC State, 2-0, No. 3 seed Virginia, 3-0, and No. 7 seed Virginia Tech, 1-0. Junior Amy Hosier, senior Kirin Kumar, junior Christine Sheridan and Sallinger were all named to the ACC All-Tournament team.
All-tournament passes for the 2005 NCAA Softball Regional at Georgia are currently on sale with chairback seats $30 and general admission seats $24. Passes can be purchased at the Georgia Ticket Office (888-542-1231) or go on-line at www.georgiadogs.com. Single day tickets will be available on the day of the competition for $8.
The University of Georgia security procedures and policies will be in effect for the tournament. The following items will not be allowed inside the Georgia Softball Stadium: alcoholic beverages, artificial noisemakers, banners, coolers, drinks, food, large flags and signs, pets, and any object deemed hazardous by Georgia event staff personnel.
The Athens Regional is one of 16 NCAA regional tournaments,with the winners advancing to Super Regionals, May 27-28 on campus sites. The 24th NCAA Women’s College World Series begins Thursday, June 2, at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
NCAA ATHENS REGIONAL
Friday, May 20
Game 1: #2 Kansas vs. #3 Georgia Tech – 5 p.m.
Game 2: #1 Georgia vs. #4 Tennessee Tech – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
Game 3: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – Noon
Game 4: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Game 5: Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 22
Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5 – Noon
Game 7: Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6 (if necessary) – 2:30 p.m.