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Morales Earns 250th Win as Jackets Split Doubleheader

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Georgia Tech softball (8-7) went an even .500 on the final day of the Queen City Classic, cruising past Kent State, 7-4, and coming up short against host Charlotte, 7-3, on Sunday at Sue M. Daughtridge Stadium. Coach Aileen Morales earned her 250th career win in Tech’s triumph over the Golden Flashes as the Yellow Jackets claimed their third straight victory of the tournament.

Game One: The Golden Flashes (4-10) struck first, slipping ahead with an RBI double and pushing home another run with a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the third.

Trailing 2-0 going into the top of the fifth, the Yellow Jackets fired back with four runs of their own to catapult in front. Senior left fielder Emma Kauf led off the inning with a double before four consecutive singles from sophomore second baseman Grace Connelly, junior designated player Sara Beth Allen, junior first baseman Abby Hughes and sophomore outfielder Auburn Dupree plated all four runs as the latter three Jackets picked up an RBI apiece.

Maintaining a 4-2 leading going into the final frame, the White and Gold added three security runs in the top of the seventh. Tech moved a pair of runners in scoring position as freshman catcher Reese Hunter and junior first baseman Abby Hughes both singled and advanced an extra bag on an error. Dobbins then drove both runs home on her second double of the game, making her way to third on a single by Dupree and racing home on a double steal.

With Kent State down to its final three outs and trailing 7-2, the Golden Flashes had one last gasp in the form of a two-run home run. In relief of the eventual pitcher of record, sophomore Sophia Voyles, senior hurler Blake Neleman finished closing things out as the Yellow Jackets came away with a 7-4 victory.

Game Two: Georgia Tech jumped on top early, following a leadoff walk with back-to-back RBI doubles off the bats of Kauf and Connelly for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Charlotte (9-4) answered in the bottom of the frame, moving in front as a pair of RBI singles and a run on a wild pitch gave the 49ers a 3-2 advantage.

After a scoreless second, the Yellow Jackets evened the tally in the top of the third. Kauf led off the inning with her second triple in as many days, allowing Connelly to send her home for the second time around with a single.

The 49ers inched back in front in the bottom of the fifth, taking a 4-3 lead with a solo home run. An inning later, Charlotte padded its lead with a three-run bomb, increasing its lead to what would prove to be the final score, 7-3.

Game Notes

  • With the win over Kent State, Morales earned her 250th career victory as a head coach.
  • Connelly and Hughes are now both on five-game hitting streaks following Sunday’s doubleheader.
  • Following a stellar weekend, Hughes has become the most efficient Yellow Jacket at the plate as she leads the squad with a .500 batting average. The Leesburg, Ga., native owns eight hits and a double, all of which came over the weekend, minus one hit.
  • Hughes and Kauf both led the White and Gold on the day, going 4-for-7. Along with the efficiency, Kauf regularly went for extra bases as she mashed two doubles and legged out her second triple in as many days.
  • Finishing .500 at the dish through both games was Connelly, who went 3-for-6 with a double and two RBI.
  • Dobbins batted .429 on the day, hammering a couple of doubles for two RBI as she racked up five total doubles in a three-game span in the tournament after entering the weekend without an extra-base hit.
  • Voyles (2-1) was the pitcher of record in both games, receiving her second win and first loss of the season. She heaved an effective 8.2 innings, picking up five strikeouts as she allowed four runs on five hits.
  • Voyles earned the win over Kent State after tossing 3.2 scoreless innings as she allowed just one hit. She followed with five innings of work facing Charlotte, adding four punchouts as she allowed four runs.
  • Neleman, senior Chandler Dennis, and sophomore Kinsey Norton also saw action in the circle through the day.
  • Against Kent State, four Yellow Jackets batted .500 or better as Dobbins led the way with a pair of doubles and RBI in a 2-for-4 outing while Hughes was an efficient 3-for-4 with a couple of RBI of her own.
  • Facing Charlotte, Kauf and Connelly fronted the offense, both going 2-for-3 as Kauf added a double and a triple to score twice while Connelly picked up a pair of RBI with a double of her own.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will return to The Flats on Tuesday, awaiting Georgia (12-4) for a 6 p.m. contest at Mewborn Field in this season’s edition of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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