March 19, 2005
ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite 11 strikeouts and a complete-game one-hitter by senior Jessica Sallinger (13-5), No. 20 Georgia Tech (26-7) dropped a 1-0 decision to Central Florida (27-16-1) in the nightcap, and defeated Northern Illinois (10-7), 4-3, in the opener to split on day two of the UCF Softball Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
UCF pitcher Lindsay Enders threw a complete-game shutout, allowing two hits and striking out six to lead the Golden Knights. Senior Kirin Kumar and freshman Aileen Morales each had hits for the Yellow Jackets against UCF.
Junior Christine Sheridan drove in two runs for Tech against NIU and finished 1-for-3, with a triple. Freshman Kacey Ivey scored the game-winning run after two straight stolen bases against the Huskies. Sophomore Sarah Wood (7-1) picked up the win in the circle, throwing four innings and striking out two.
In game one, NIU’s Ellen Stoddard gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead over Tech in the top of the third inning with a double off the right field fence to score two as the Jackets trailed early.
Morales singled to start the fourth inning, stole second base and advanced to third base on an infield single by sophomore Caitlin Lever to place runners at the corners with no outs. Lever stole second base and Sheridan tripled to right-center field to plate Morales and Lever. Freshman Savannah Brown plated Sheridan on a sacrifice fly to right field as Tech took a 3-2 lead.
Ivey led off the fifth inning with an infield single and stole second base to give the Jackets a runner in scoring position. Ivey then stole third base and scored on a throwing error on the catcher to increase Tech’s lead to two, 4-2.
The Huskies loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning on a base hit, hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice bunt where the Jackets failed to record an out at third base. Freshman pitcher Whitney Humphreys, who entered the circle in the fifth inning, recorded a strikeout for the first out of the inning. NIU’s Stoddard then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score a run, but the Jackets picked up the third out of the inning on a run down, Ivey to Donovan to Morales at second base.
Humphreys retired the side in order in the seventh inning to tally her first save of the season, throwing three innings, allowing one hit and one run, while striking out two.
The second game versus UCF was a pitcher’s duel throughout. The Jackets’ Morales led off the fourth inning with a single to left field for the first hit of the game and moved over to second base on a sacrifice by Lever. Morales moved over to third on a ground out by Sheridan but Tech could not drive her in, as the game remained scoreless.
UCF’s Amber Lamb reached second base on an error by Hosier on a hard hit ball to left field to give the Golden Knights a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth inning. Crystle Krafft followed with the first hit of the game for UCF to put the Golden Knights up 1-0 after four complete innings.
Morales reached base on a fielder’s choice in the top of the sixth inning and stole her 24th base of the season to give the Jackets a runner in scoring position for the second time in the game. Lever then popped out to shortstop for the final out of the inning as Tech trailed 1-0 heading into the seventh inning.
The Yellow Jackets went down in order in the seventh to end a four-game winning streak. Tech is now 13-3 in its last 16 ballgames. The Jackets gained the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will play No. 3 seed Northern Illinois at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. The winner of that game will face UCF in the championship game at 1 p.m.