Feb. 10, 2011
The No. 18/17 Georgia Tech Softball team is off to Clermont, Fla. for Dot Richardson’s National Collegiate Invitational. The Yellow Jackets will face Florida Atlantic in the season opener Friday at 2:30 p.m. and then face Chattanooga at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Tech will play Fordham at 4 p.m. and then Chattanooga again at 6:30 p.m. The tournament concludes on Sunday at 11 a.m. when the Jackets and Fordham meet again.
Fans can follow all of the action this weekend from Florida with a free live broadcast at www.RamblinWreck.com. Live stats will also be available via the Gamertracker link. In addition, the first game on both Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday’s match-up against Fordham will be broadcast live on WREK, 91.1 FM in Atlanta.
Tech is making its first-ever appearance in this tournament, which is only in its second year, but is no stranger to the state of Florida. Last season, the Yellow Jackets opened the year in Clearwater, Fla. and went 4-0. That included a win over No. 3 Florida.
The Yellow Jackets return all but one starter from last year’s team which went 51-11 and hosted a NCAA Regional at Mewborn Field for the second straight season. Tech spent the entire season ranked in the NFCA top 25 poll for the first time in program history and also earned a national seed (No. 8) for the first time ever. Tech won its second straight ACC regular season and tournament title and was a unanimous selection to win a third this May when the conference championship comes to Atlanta for the first time.
Third-team All-American Hope Rush anchors a deep pitching staff this season. Rush was the 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year and went 28-8 last year with a 1.98 ERA in 32 starts. She held opponents to a .224 batting average and had 170 strikeouts in 222.1 innings pitched. At the plate, she batted .302 and was second on the team with 20 home runs and 60 RBI.
Senior Kristen Adkins also returns after going 8-2 last season with a 2.30 ERA. The 2009 ACC Tournament MVP held opponents to a .244 batting average and tossed three shutouts. The McKinney, Texas native can also play third base or the outfield and hit six home runs as a junior. Freshman Lindsey Anderson rounds out the staff for the Jackets.
Tech returns every position player except second base with the graduation of first-team All-American Jen Yee. That spot will likely be filled by freshman Ashley Thomas, also a native of McKinney, Texas.
Senior first baseman Kristine Priebe was a first-team All-ACC pick and All-Region selection a year ago after batting .331 with 15 home runs and 59 RBI. At shortstop, two-time All-ACC pick Kelsi Weseman is back for her junior year. The Hutto, Texas native hit .330 with 18 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs and 52 RBI. Sophomore Caitlin Jordan is a versatile player who can play either first or third base. She hit .322 as a freshman with seven home runs and 31 RBI. Junior Kate Kuzma is another versatile player who can catch and play left field. Kuzma earned second-team All-ACC honors a year ago after hitting .245 with nine home runs and 38 RBI.
Senior Christy Jones anchors the outfield after earning second-team All-ACC accolades last year for the first time in her career. The speedster from Wichita, Kan., hit .280 and stole 10 bases. Junior Jessica Sinclair is back in right field after missing the last 10 games in 2010 with a torn ACL. She is back in full strength and had nine home runs and 31 RBI last year.