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No. 17 Softball Splits On Day One Of Blue & Gold Felsberg Memorial Tournament

Feb. 18, 2011

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MIAMI, Fla. – The No. 17/17 Georgia Tech Softball team (6-1) split a pair of games on the first day of action at the Florida International Blue and Gold Felsberg Memorial Tournament on Friday. The Yellow Jackets won the first game over Illinois (3-4) 5-4, but fell in the night cap to Florida International (3-3), 9-1 in five innings.

Sophomore Hope Rush (3-0) picked up a complete-game win against Illinois as she threw 193 total pitches and saw the count go full on 14 different batters. She was charged with four earned runs on eight hits. Rush walked five and struck out five and also had the big blow at the plate, a three-run double in the first inning.

In the night cap, Ashley McClain had a pair if two-run doubles and also hit a home run as Florida International won 9-1 in five innings. FIU scored seven runs in the third inning to break the game open, six of which came with two outs. The Golden Panthers sent 13 batters to the plate and took advantage of five straight walks by freshman Lindsey Anderson, four of them coming with the bases loaded.

Senior Kristen Adkins (2-1) took the loss for the Yellow Jackets against FIU as she allowed five earned runs on five hits and two walks in the first 2.1 innings. Anderson was charged with four earned runs on one hit. She walked seven and struck out two in 1.2 innings of work.

In game one against Illinois, the Yellow Jackets jumped out first with a three-run bottom of the first inning. Senior Christy Jones singled to start the rally and went to third base on an error after junior Kelsi Weseman dropped down a sacrifice. Illinois pitcher Jackie Guy got two quick outs, but after a walk to junior Danielle Dike loaded the bases, sophomore Hope Rush hit a three-run double off the wall in left field.

Trailing 3-0, Illinois came right back to tie the game in the top of the second. Hollie Pinchback drove in two for the Illini as Rush stranded two more to keep the game tied and then saw her offense come right back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Junior Jessica Sinclair led off with a single and then freshman Ashley Thomas, running for Sinclair from the flex position in the line-up, stole second base. After junior Shannon Bear was hit by a pitch, another error by Illinois third baseman Kelly Wedel on a bunt attempt allowed a run to score. This time it was Jones’ bunt attempt that resulted in a run in and runners at second and third with nobody out. Tech got just one run on a RBI double by Weseman as the Jackets had a runner thrown out at the plate and Guy was able to get out of the inning with two fly outs.

Illinois’ Jessica Davis homered with one out in the fifth inning making it a 5-4 game, but Rush was able to get out of a two-on and two out jam to preserve the one-run lead.

Georgia Tech tried to give Rush some insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning as it loaded the bases with two outs after three walks by Guy. With freshman Alysha Rudnik at the plate, Guy got out of the inning and the Illini came up for one last crack at Rush.

In the top of the seventh inning, Rush got the first two outs quickly, but an error and a walk soon gave Illinois runners at first and second with two outs. Rush, however, was able to close out the game by getting Alex Booker on a ground out.

Game two of the day against Florida International saw the Golden Panthers strike first on a two-run double by Ashley McClain in the bottom of the first inning. FIU had a runner on third and nobody out with a chance to make it a bigger inning, but senior pitcher Kristen Adkins got two strikeouts and a ground out to end the threat.

McClain did it again in the third inning as she hit a solo home run to right field making it a 3-0 game. Following the home run, Adkins gave up a single and a walk and was relived by freshman Lindsey Anderson. Anderson struck out the first batter she faced but then walked five straight batters, four of which came with the bases loaded. McClain also added a two-run double in the inning as Tech now trailed 9-0 heading to the fourth. Six of the seven runs in the inning came after there were two outs.

Tech got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. With Priebe on second base and two outs, sophomore Caitlin Jordan singled up the middle driving in the first run of the game for the Yellow Jackets. Tech loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but were unable to score and FIU went on to the win.

The FIU Blue and Gold Felsberg Memorial Tournament continues tomorrow as Tech will face Providence (10 a.m.) and Pittsburgh (Noon) before closing out the tournament on Sunday, Feb. 20 against FIU again at 1 p.m. Live audio and stats for each game is available at RamblinWreck.com.

Follow Georgia Tech Softball all season at twitter.com/GaTechSoftball and on Facebook for the most complete information.

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