Feb. 17, 2011
ATLANTA – The 17th-ranked Georgia Tech Softball team (5-0) heads back to the Sunshine State, this time Miami, for the Felsberg Memorial Tournament hosted by Florida International University.
The Yellow Jackets will play Illinois (1 p.m.) and Florida International (5 p.m.) on Friday and then Providence (10 a.m.) and Pitt (Noon) on Saturday before closing out the weekend against FIU again on Sunday at 1 p.m. Live audio and stats for all five games will be available at RamblinWreck.com. In addition, the Illinois and Providence games will be broadcast on WREK, 91.1 FM.
Georgia Tech opened the 2011 season by winning Dot Richardson’s National Collegiate Invitational at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. Tech out-scored the opposition, 24-5, and out-hit them 48-22. The Yellow Jacket pitching staff did not allow an extra-base hit all weekend while Tech’s hitters had 20.
Senior Kristen Adkins led the way with a 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA en route to ACC Pitcher of the Week honors. The McKinney, Texas native allowed just 11 hits and four walks while striking out 22 batters in 15 innings.
Freshman catcher/third baseman Alysha Rudnik was one of six batters to hit over .300 on the weekend with a .588 average as she went on to win ACC Player of the Week honors. Rudnik had three doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBI while hitting safely in all five games.
Senior Kristine Priebe and juniors Kelsi Weseman and Danielle Dike each hit two home runs for the Yellow Jackets. Junior Shannon Bear (.500), senior Christy Jones (.438) and sophomore Hope Rush (.400) also chipped in offensively for Tech.
The Yellow Jackets are 1-2 all-time against Illinois. The last meeting was a 5-3 loss to the Illini in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament held in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tech and Florida International have met just once, a 2-1 FIU win on Feb. 23, 2002 in Boca Raton, Fla. Georgia Tech is also 1-2 against Pitt and has never faced Providence before. Tech split a doubleheader with the Panthers on March 11, 1999 in Atlanta and then lost to them again two days later in a home tournament.
Two Outs, No Problem:
Georgia Tech picked right up where it left off from last season in two-out run production. On opening day, Tech scored eight of its nine runs against Florida Atlantic and Chattanooga with two outs. For the weekend, Georgia Tech saw exactly half of its runs cross the plate with two outs in the inning.
Freshman Making An Impact:
All 17 healthy players on Georgia Tech’s roster played in at least two games on opening weekend, including four freshmen. Only freshman Kaitlin Kates did not play as she is out with a hand injury.
Ashley Thomas started all five games at second base and did not commit an error. Rudnik played every inning at either third base or behind the plate and hit almost .600 while Lindsey Anderson went 1-0 with a save and a 1.75 ERA. She won in her first collegiate start, giving up one run over five innings of work against Chattanooga last Saturday night. Hayley Downs played in four games with two starts in the outfield. She recorded a hit in her first collegiate at bat and was flawless in the field.
Strikeout Numbers Are Up For Adkins
Senior Kristen Adkins has never been considered a strikeout pitcher but early signs in 2011 point to a change. The drop-baller from McKinney, Texas had just 54 strikeouts in 88 innings last year but fanned 22 in her first 15 innings of 2011. Adkins struck out a career-high nine in just five innings of work against Fordham last Sunday and also whiffed eight Chattanooga batters two nights earlier.
Perkins Closing In On 200
Two-time ACC Coach of the Year Sharon Perkins has put Georgia Tech on the national stage as she continues to build up the program. In her fifth year now, Perkins is now 188-73 (.720) and just 12 wins away from 200 in her career. The Sarasota, Fla, native has led the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Tournament in each of her first four seasons, including a regional at Mewborn Field the past two years.