March 27, 2010
ATLANTA – The No. 11/8 Georgia Tech Softball team (28-5, 4-1 ACC) swept Maryland 19-11, 0-4) in the Atlantic Coast Conference home opener Saturday afternoon at Mewborn Field 9-8 and 3-1. In game one, the Yellow Jackets overcame a 6-0, fourth-inning deficit and won on a walk-off single by junior Christy Jones. In game two, sophomore Kate Kuzma’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie and helped Tech secure the sweep and its 12th straight league series win.
Due to the forecast of rain tomorrow afternoon, the series finale has been moved up to 9:00 a.m. from its original starting time of 1 p.m.
Redshirt senior Jen Yee walked in all seven of her plate appearances on the day including six times intentionally, while sophomore Kelsi Weseman continued her hot hitting as she went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Kuzma had four RBI in the game, including her two-run homer which proved to be the game-winner in game two.
Freshman Hope Rush improved to 15-3 on the season with the win in game one despite giving up a career-high eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits. She had four walks and seven strikeouts. Junior Kristen Adkins (6-1) was the game two winner as she limited the Terrapins to just one run on five hits. She walked three and struck out three.
In the first inning of game one, Maryland took advantage of a couple Rush walks to plate a pair of runs. Then in the second, the Terps went up 5-0. Sara Acosta had a home run to lead off the frame and then the Terps took advantage of a bases loaded hit by pitch and ground out to jump out to the early lead.
Maryland made it a 6-0 game in the top of the fourth inning before the Jackets began to chip away. Tech scored four times in the bottom of the frame to get back in the game at 6-4. Rush and Weseman walked to begin the inning and then freshman Caitlin Jordan singled to left-center field driving in Tech’s first run. It was also the Yellow Jackets’ first hit against Maryland starter Kerry Hickey.
Sophomore Jessica Sinclair drove in the second run in the inning with a RBI ground out, while a run also scored on a sac fly by Kuzma. Tech’s fourth run in the frame came on a Maryland error.
A home run by Weseman, her eighth of the season, brought Tech within a run at 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning but Maryland got two runs back on a two-run home run off the bat of Hickey in the top of the sixth.
Tech continued the come-back by scoring two more runs in the sixth inning to make it a 8-7 game heading to the final inning. With one out, Yee was intentionally walked for the fourth time in the game and came around to score when Kuzma doubled off the fence in left field. Kuzma, who went to third base on the throw home, came around to score on a ground out by junior Kristine Priebe.
Rush did her job pitching a 1-2-3 seventh inning and that set the stage for Tech’s dramatics in the bottom of the inning. Weseman walked to begin the inning and was at third base with nobody out after Jordan doubled to right field. Two batters later, Adkins dropped down a bunt on the left side which easily scored Weseman and the tying run. Now with the winning run at third base and two outs, Jones chopped the first pitch she saw over the third baseman’s head and into left field driving home Jordan with the winning run.
Game two was a pitcher’s duel between Adkins and Maryland’s Kendra Knight. Tech scored a run in the first inning and that stood until the Terps tied it in the fourth. Yee was intentionally walked to begin the bottom of the first inning and came around to score when Weseman, who was moved up to the No. 3 spot in the order, doubled. The Yellow Jackets had a chance for a big inning with runners at the corners and two outs but Knight got Rush to strike out.
The Yellow Jackets also had runners at the corners in the second inning, this time with one out, but Knight got out of it once again. Then in the fourth inning, the Terps had a chance for a big inning. Two singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with nobody out. Adkins then fell behind Knight 3-0 before coming back to strike her out for the first out of the inning, but followed that up by walking Courtney Kane on a 3-2 pitch to force in the tying run. Niki then hit a sharp grounder to Yee at second base and she was able to cut down the potential go-ahead run at the plate. Adkins then proceeded to get out of the inning on a ground out to first base.
In the top of the fifth, Maryland got a runner to second base with one out but Adkins was able to escape the jam. That set the stage for the bottom half of the frame and Kuzma’s home run. With Yee aboard after being intentionally walked, Kuzma drilled a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left-center for her sixth home run of the season which put Tech up 3-1.
Adkins made it stand and escaped a two-out, two-on jam in the seventh inning to preserve the Yellow Jackets’ 12th straight ACC series victory.
Georgia Tech and Maryland will conclude its three-game series tomorrow at 9 a.m. Admission to Mewborn Field is free of charge and live video, audio and stats will be available at www.RamblinWreck.com.