Feb. 20, 2011
MIAMI, Fla. – A two-out RBI single by Beth Peller in the bottom of the sixth inning was the game-winner as Florida International (5-5) beat No. 17/17 Georgia Tech, 4-3, in six innings Sunday in the final game of the Felsberg Memorial Tournament. With the Yellow Jackets needing to get to the airport for their flight home, a drop dead time of 3:45 was set before the game began and it was called after the completion of the sixth at 3:44 p.m.
Sophomore Hope Rush (3-2) took the loss as she allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits and six walks. She struck out one and two of the walks came with the bases loaded. Senior Kristine Priebe and freshman Alysha Rudnik each hit home runs to account for the three Tech runs.
Florida International struck first for a run in the first inning. An infield single, walk and hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs for the Golden Panthers. Rush then walked Beth Peller to force in the game’s first run but was able to get out of the jam without any further damage. Of the 10 FIU runs thus far this weekend for FIU against the Yellow Jackets in 10 innings, five came via a bases loaded walk.
The Yellow Jackets had a chance to at least tie the game in the third inning but a couple nice defensive plays by FIU kept Tech off the scoreboard. Freshman Hayley Downs led off with a single and was sacrificed to second base by senior Christy Jones. Junior Kelsi Weseman then ripped the ball into right field, but Downs was thrown out at the plate tying to score on a strike in by FIU right fielder Alex Casals. Later in the inning Tech had two on and two out, but FIU shortstop Kayla Burri made a leaping catch in shallow center field to rob Rush and end the inning.
FIU loaded the bases with one out in the third inning on two Rush walks and a single but was unable to score. After Rush got Beth Peller on a fly out to Jones in shallow center field, Jones saved three runs when she made a running catch in the gap in left-center field to rob Patty Zavala of extra bases.
The Yellow Jackets looked to capitalize on the momentum from the Jones catch in the top half of the fourth inning and did just that. On the first pitch of the inning, freshman Alysha Rudnik hit her second home run of the season, a line drive over the fence in left-center field to tie the game at one.
FIU came back to score twice in the bottom of the fourth inning but it could have been a whole lot worse for Rush. With the bases loaded and no outs and a run already in, Rush gave up just one additional Golden Panther run on a walk to minimize the damage. It was the sixth bases loaded walk for Tech pitching against FIU this weekend.
The Yellow Jackets quickly answered in the top of the fifth inning. Jones led off with a single and went to second base on an error. She scored two batters later on a towering two-run home run to left field off the bat of Priebe. For Priebe, it was her third round-tripper of the season and tied the game at three.
The Yellow Jackets will get set for their first mid-week game of the season now as they travel up to Kennesaw State for a 4 p.m. game on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Live audio and stats is available at RamblinWreck.com.
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