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Late Game Heroics Undone in Loss to Minnesota

CLEARWATER, FLA. – Georgia Tech softball (3-6) was saddled with a loss against Minnesota, 12-11, despite an incredible back-and-forth battle on Friday night at the Eddie C. Moore softball complex in Clearwater, Fla. Junior Emma Minghini hit a three-run game tying home run with two outs in the top of the 7th, only for Minnesota to walk it off in the bottom of the inning.

QUICK HITS

  • The Yellow Jackets hit two home runs today, with senior Sara Beth Allen and Minghini teaming up for the long balls.
  • Tech has hit 14 home runs over its last five games, the most in a five-game stretch in 13 seasons (15 HR – March 6-13, 2011).
  • Senior Sara Beth Allen hit her second home run of the season in the 5th inning, bringing her career total to 16.
  • Minghini’s 7th inning game-tying home run was her first of the season and 4th of her career.
  • The White & Gold have hit seven of their 15 home runs in the final inning of the game.
  • The Georgia Tech offense scored a season-high 11 runs tonight, with six different Jackets registering at least one RBI.
  • Senior 3B Mallorie Black stayed white hot at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, an RBI and two runs scored.
  • Black extends her hitting streak to five games – the longest of her career.
  • The Cumming, Ga. Native has hit made multiple hits in four consecutive games, also the longest streak of her four-year Georgia Tech career.
  • So far in the Clearwater Invitational, Black is 8 for 10 with a walk, two doubles, a home run, 4 RBI and a team-leading five runs scored. She is slashing .800/.818/1.300 while facing some of the highest ranked teams in the nation.
  • Freshman INF Gracyn Tucker recorded a pinch-hit single in the Jackets four-run 7th She has reached base safely in each of her last seven plate appearances, going 6 for 6 with a walk, a home run, a double and three RBI. She improves her hitting streak to four games, with her last two hits coming as a pinch hitter in late inning situations.
  • Junior Ella Edgmon recorded her 4th RBI of the season in the third inning, bringing her career total to 43 RBI.
  • Edgmon made a phenomenal defensive play in center field, falling through the center field fence to record the out.
  • Graduate Senior Tiffany Domingue connected for a two-RBI double in the 4th inning, giving her 5 RBI on the season, all coming in her last two games.
  • Sophomore Jayden Gailey added a sacrifice fly, her second RBI of the year and 5th as a Yellow Jacket.

GT vs Minnesota

Photos by Tyler Rover

HOW IT HAPPENED

Jaidyn Studebaker made her first-career start, striking out a career-best four batters before running into trouble in the third inning. Makayla Coffield took over in the circle with one out and the bases loaded, working an infield popup and a groundball on her first two batters, only for the groundball to find a soft spot in the infield resulting in an inherited run scored. Coffield responded by forcing a lazy fly ball to left to get the Jackets out of the inning but not until Minnesota had tallied five runs.

The Gophers added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth before Kinsey Norton took over in the circle, forcing a pair of groundouts, including an incredible defensive play by Jin Sileo at short, ranging to her left to nab the runner at first, before another dazzling defensive effort by Reese Hunter to track down a pop up in foul territory gave the Jackets a scoreless bottom of the 5th. The Gopher lineup proved to be too much to handle as they added three runs in the sixth and ended up walking off the game with a single in the bottom of the 7th.

The Jackets stayed in the fight all game long with another incredible offensive display. Edgmon got the ball rolling with an RBI single to bring in Paige Vukadinovich, tying the score at 1-1 in the top of the third. After Minnesota hung a five-spot in the third, Tech responded with four runs in the fourth thanks to big time hits from Black, Domingue and a sacrifice fly from Gailey. A two-run blast from Allen brought Tech back within one, 7-8, only for Minnesota to respond with three more runs in the sixth. Tech headed to the 7th inning, down 7-11, with three outs left to work with.

In the top of the 7th, Tucker entered as a pinch-hitter, legging out an infield single and advancing to second on the errant throw. Allen came up next, hitting a single on an 0-2 count to put runners on the corners for Black, who drew a five-pitch walk. After the walk, the Minnesota catcher mistakenly threw the ball the second, allowing Dobbins, who re-entered the game to run for Tucker, to race to the plate and score a run with some heads up baserunning. A fielder’s choice in the next at bat brought Minghini to the plate, down three, with two outs. With a full count, Minghini turned on an inside pitch, driving it out of the ballpark for her first homerun of the year, tying the score at 11-11, the first tie since the 3rd inning.

The incredible effort couldn’t result in a win this time, as the Gophers walked off the game in the next half inning.

UP NEXT­­
The Jackets continue the Clearwater Invitational tomorrow with a doubleheader against No. 22 Northwestern (9 am on ACC Network) and No. 2 Tennessee (12 pm on ESPN+).

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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