April 18, 2009
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 21 Georgia Tech softball team (34-11, 11-3 ACC) scored 27 runs on 27 hits en route to a sweep of Virginia (25-16, 2-11) 14-1 and 13-4, both in five innings, Saturday afternoon at The Park. The top five hitters in the Georgia Tech line-up — redshirt junior Jen Yee, senior Blair Shimandle, freshman Kelsi Weseman, senior Whitney Haller and senior Tiffany Johnson — went a combined 21-for-33 (.636) with 21 runs scored, six doubles, three home runs and 19 RBI.
At the top of the order, Yee was 3-for-5 with five runs scored, two walks, one double and two RBI. In the two spot, Shimandle went 6-for-7 with five runs scored, two doubles and five RBI, while Weseman was 4-for-7 with four runs scored, one double, one home run and five RBI in the three spot. Haller went 5-for-8 with four runs scored, two home runs and four RBI in the clean-up spot, while Johnson hit 3-for-6 with two doubles and three RBI from the five spot in the line-up.
Sophomore Christy Jones also had a three hit day, while adding three runs scored and two stolen bases. Sophomore Jessica Weaver added a home run and four RBI, while sophomore Caroline Hilton also went deep for the Yellow Jackets.
Sophomore Kristen Adkins (18-6) and Johnson (12-2) each picked up wins in the circle for Tech as they combined to allow just one earned run on eight hits.
In game one, Georgia Tech wasted no time in jumping on UVA pitcher Karla Wilburn as it struck for three runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. Redshirt junior Jen Yee was hit to lead off the game and then scored on a double to the alley in left-center field by senior Blair Shimandle. A RBI single off the bat of freshman Kelsi Weseman and a RBI double from senior Tiffany Johnson gave the Yellow Jackets the early 3-0 advantage.
Tech kept the offense going in the top of the second inning. With two on and one out, Weseman blasted a three-run home run to the opposite field making it a 6-0 game. It was her sixth round-tripper of the season. Two pitches later, senior Whitney Haller completed the back-to-back home runs when she hit her ninth home run of the season to the same exact spot where Weseman’s just went over the fence in left-center.
In the bottom of the second inning, Tech sophomore Kristen Adkins gave up two straight hits to begin the inning but got out of the second and third jam without allowing a run to score. Adkins used a strikeout and a come-backer for two of the outs. Johnson also made a nice play on a hard-hit ball to the left side and threw home to freshman catcher Kate Kuzma nabbing Sarah Tacke at the plate.
In the top of the third inning, UVA made a pitching change but it didn’t slow down the Tech bats as it plated five more runs against Stephanie Coates. Coates got the first two outs of the inning, but then seven straight Jackets reached base. Tech scored a run on a double steal, while Shimandle, Weseman, Haller and Johnson all recorded RBI hits.
UVA got into the scoring column in the bottom of the third inning as Giannina Cipolloni hit a RBI triple to the right-field corner making it a 12-1 game.
Tech added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning against the third UVA pitcher of the afternoon, Allee Rife. One run scored on a ground out by Haller and Johnson added a sacrifice fly making the score 14-1.
Adkins’ day was done after four innings as she improved to 18-6 on the season. She was charged with the one run on five hits. She struck out five batters and did not issue a walk. Freshman Jessica Coan pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning with a pair of strikeouts to close out the Yellow Jacket win.
In game two, Tech’s offense picked right up where it left off against Virginia pitcher Nicole Koren by scoring seven runs on six hits. After Yee led off with a double down the right-field line, Shimandle singled her home for the game’s first run. Weseman was hit by a pitch and then Haller singled to load the bases. Two batters later, sophomore Caroline Hilton was hit by a pitch forcing in a run and then an error by Virginia second baseman Lauren McCaskey on an infield fly rule by freshman Jessica Sinclair brought the third run in.
Sophomore Jessica Weaver delivered the big blow in the inning with a three-run home run to left field and then Yee had a RBI single later in the inning to give the Jackets the 7-0 lead after a half inning. For Weaver, it was her second home run of the season.
Hilton made it an 8-0 game with a solo home run in the top of the second. It was her second home run of the season as well. The bats did not slow down in the third inning, despite another UVA pitching change as game one starter Wilburn came back in the game. With two on and one out, Shimandle continued her perfect day with a two-run double making the score 10-0 in favor of Tech.
UVA scored three unearned runs off Tech senior pitcher Tiffany Johnson in the bottom of the third inning, but the Yellow Jackets got two of them back in the top of the fourth to make it a 12-3 game. Weaver had a RBI single and Yee drew a bases loaded walk to account for the 11th and 12th Tech runs.
The Cavaliers scored another unearned run in the bottom of the fourth, but Haller’s second home run of the day leading off the fifth inning made it a 13-4 game. It was her 10th round-tripper of the year.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Johnson took care of the Cavaliers to complete the sweep for the Yellow Jackets. She improved to 12-2 on the season and was charged with four runs (all unearned) on three hits. She walked three and struck out seven.
Georgia Tech and Virginia will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. Live stats will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com. Unfortunately due to bandwidth issues in Charlottesville, the free audio broadcast will not be available.