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Late Rally by South Alabama Hand Jackets First NCAA Tournament Loss 4-3

May 18, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A two-run rally by South Alabama in the top of the seventh inning handed the Georgia Tech softball team its first loss of the Tuscaloosa Regional in the NCAA Tournament Friday at Rhoads Stadium. The Jackets were leading 3-2 heading into the final inning of play but fell 4-3 to the Jaguars.

Hope Rush started and pitched four complete innings for the Yellow Jackets (36-22) surrendering five hits and two runs to South Alabama (40-15). Kylie Kleinschmidt came on in relief of Rush and pitched two shutout innings, before giving up the game winning run in the top of the seventh inning. Kleinschmidt allowed four hits and two runs in three innings of work to garner the loss.

Tech was led by senior Shannon Bear at the plate who went 2-for-4 scoring a run and driving in another. In Bear’s first plate appearance she tripled to right, her first of the season, scoring in the next at bat. She drove in a run for the Jackets in the following inning, scoring Kate Kuzma from second on a single to left.

Hannah Campbell picked up the victory for South Alabama, her 24th of the year. The sophomore went seven complete, letting up nine hits and three earned runs.

The Jackets were the first to get on the board as Bear, hustling all the way sent a triple to right field, her third career triple and first of 2012. She was brought in one batter later when Katie Johnsky sent a blooper into shallow left center field to put the Jackets up 1-0.

South Alabama tied it up and took the lead in the top of the second using a double to left center and a ground out with the bases loaded to put two on the board. But the Jackets evened things out in the bottom half of the frame. Kuzma began the rally with a double down the left field line and a couple of batters later was driven by Bear when the senior notched her second hit of the game, a single to left field to tie everything up at two.

Tech went back on top in the bottom of the fourth after a leadoff double by Karly Fullem. Fullem was replaced on the basepaths by pinch runner Kaitlin Kates who moved up to third on a ground out by Chelsie Thomas and scampered home just beating the throw from second on a fielder’s choice to second by Ashley Thomas to regain the lead for the Jackets.

The Jags took the lead once again and for the final time, putting two runs on the board in the top of the seventh thanks to a triple by Kaitlyn Griffith. Griffith drove in the game tying run and scored the game winner for South Alabama in the top of the inning as the Jags held on for the victory.

The Jackets will face the loser of the UT-Martin, Alabama game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

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