Feb. 21, 2010
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Valerie Arioto had a three-run home run and pitched a complete game as the No. 11/12 California Softball team (7-3) handed No. 10/9 Georgia Tech (8-1) its first loss of the season, 4-1, Sunday morning in the final game of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. The Yellow Jackets left nine runners on base, including six in scoring position.
Freshman Hope Rush (5-1) took the loss as she allowed four runs on six hits. She walked five and struck out eight. Arioto gave up one earned run on five hits. She walked four and also fanned nine. At the plate, she was 2-for-3 with a walk and the three-run home run. Redshirt junior Jen Yee went 1-for-4 to extend her hitting streak to nine games and sophomore Kelsi Weseman provided the Yellow Jacket run with a seventh inning RBI single.
It was a scoreless game until the sixth inning home run by Arioto, but both teams had scoring chances. In the third inning, the Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with one out as junior Christy Jones walked, Yee singled and Weseman was hit by a pitch. Rush then hit a chopper to third that resulted in Jones being forced out at home and Arioto fanned sophomore Jessica Sinclair to end the threat.
In the top of the fourth inning, Cal put two on with one out but this time it was Rush who was able to get out of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, the Jackets put their first two batters on when sophomore Kate Kuzma reached on an error and went to second base when junior Kristine Priebe walked. Junior Kristen Adkins sacrificed both runners into scoring position, but Arioto once again worked out of the jam.
Both teams went in order in the fifth and then Arioto helped out her own cause with the three-run home run in the sixth inning. It came with one out and went out to dead center field. In the bottom of the sixth, Kuzma doubled and was at third base after a wild pitch with one out but she was stranded there.
After Cal added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to make it a 4-0 game, the Yellow Jackets tried to mount a come-back in the bottom of the seventh. Freshman Caitlin Jordan walked and then sophomore pinch runner Shannon Bear went to second base on an infield single by Jones. After Yee flied out to the wall in left field, Jones stole second base giving Tech two runners in scoring position with one out. A single by Weseman drove in Bear with the Jackets’ first run of the game, but Jones was thrown out at the plate for the inning’s second out. Rush walked on four pitches bringing up the tying run, but Arioto got Sinclair to pop-up and end the game.
Georgia Tech now returns home to host Kennesaw State Wednesday night in the 2010 home opener. First pitch at Mewborn Field is slated for 6 p.m. and admission is free. Live audio and stats for every game can be found at www.RamblinWreck.com.