May 21, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Lauren Gibson went 3-for-3 with two home runs and six RBI to lead No. 5/7 Tennessee (49-11) to a 7-0 win over No. 19/18 Georgia Tech (45-12) Saturday night in an elimination game of the NCAA Softball Knoxville Regional. Tennessee moves on to play Oklahoma State in the championship tomorrow while the Yellow Jackets conclude their season with a 45-12 record.
In the first game of the day, the Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the final three innings to erase a 2-1 deficit and avoid elimination with a 4-3 win over Liberty (30-30). Sophomore Hope Rush and junior Kelsi Weseman had RBI hits in a two-run fifth inning to give Tech a 3-2 lead and then junior Danielle Dike added a RBI single in the sixth inning which proved to be the game-winner.
Freshman Lindsey Anderson (13-1) got the win as she pitched 4.2 innings of relief. She gave up one earned run on two hits while walking one and striking out nine.
Against Tennessee, Gibson was too much as was Lady Vol starter Ivy Renfroe. Renfroe was perfect for 4.1 innings and ended up with a two-hit shutout as she improved to 19-4 on the season. She walked one and struck out 10. Anderson started for Tech and was charged with six earned runs on six hits and two walks. She struck out one. Rush pitched the final 4.2 innings of relief and allowed one earned run on four hits while walking four and striking out two.
Against Liberty, Georgia Tech jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when senior Kristine Priebe hit her 14th homer run of the year, a solo shot to left-center field. It was also the Jackets’ 100th homer of the year.
Liberty came back to score two runs in the top of the second inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Amber DePasquale singled to left field on the 13th pitch of her at bat against Adkins and tied the game. Later in the inning an error allowed the second run of the inning to score but Adkins prevented any further damage.
Liberty relief pitcher Katrina Johnson retired nine straight Jackets but Tech broke through for a pair of runs in the fifth inning to re-take the lead. With senior pinch runner Christy Jones at second base and two outs, sophomore pinch hitter Hope Rush came through with a RBI single to tie the game up at two. After freshman Ashley Thomas walked, junior Kelsi Weseman gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-2 lead with a RBI single to left field.
Tech added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single by junior Danielle Dike as Anderson was given a 4-2 lead heading to the seventh inning.
Liberty got a run in the seventh inning and had the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second base with two outs but Anderson struck out pinch hitter Jill Stephens to end the game.
In the second elimination game of the day, Tennessee was the visiting team and put up a four spot in the first inning. The Lady Vols loaded the bases with no outs on three straight singles and then a sac fly by Jessica Spigner put Tennessee up 1-0. Anderson got a ground out for the inning’s second out, but Lauren Gibson hit an 0-2 pitch over the fence in right field for a three-run homer which put the Lady Vols up 4-0.
Gibson continued her monster night with a two-run home run in the third inning to put the Lady Vols on top 6-0 and chase Anderson from the game. Sophomore Hope Rush came in and kept Tennessee from scoring any more.
In the fourth inning, Gibson drove in her sixth run of the night with a RBI single to make it 7-0 in favor of Tennessee.
Ivy Renfroe did not allow any base runners for the first 4.1 innings but junior Kate Kuzma broke up the perfect game with a single in the fifth inning. Renfroe then walked Dike putting two on and one out but came back to get out of the inning and preserve the shutout.