Feb. 23, 2011
KENNESAW, Ga. – A grand slam by Sharon Swanson with two outs in the third inning helped lead Kennesaw State (7-3) to a 4-1 win over No. 22/25 Georgia Tech (7-4) Wednesday afternoon at Bailey Park. The Yellow Jackets had eight hits in the game and stranded 13 runners on base, including the bases loaded three times.
Senior Kristen Adkins (3-2) took the loss but the four runs were unearned. She allowed nine hits and walked one while striking out five. Senior Kristine Priebe was 2-for-3 for the Yellow Jackets with a walk. Tech’s lone run scored in the sixth inning when freshman Hayley Downs singled, stole second base and scored on a pair of throwing errors by the Owls.
Georgia Tech had the first chance to score but ended up leaving the based loaded in the first inning as Kennesaw pitcher Jessica Cross was able to escape trouble. Senior Christy Jones led off by reaching on an error and stole second base, but was thrown out at the plate on a single to right field by junior Kelsi Weseman. After a ground out and two walks, the inning ended when junior Shannon Bear lined out hard to the right fielder Bianca Durant.
Tech loaded the bases with one out in the third inning but again weren’t able to score as Cross got out of further trouble. Sohomore Hope Rush and senior Kristine Priebe had hits in the inning and Weseman drew a walk but were stranded on the base paths.
Kennesaw State loaded the bases with one out as well in the bottom of the inning and made Tech pay for some poor defense. After a hit, an error and an infield hit loaded the bases, Adkins struck out Cross for the inning’s second out. Sharon Swanson then came up and launched a ball out to left field. Bear leaped at the fence and had the ball go off her glove as she reached over the fence and fall for a grand slam. Kennesaw then got the next two on with a single and a walk, but Adkins was able to get out of the jam and prevent any further damage but it was still 4-0 Owls. The four runs were unearned against Adkins.
The speed for Georgia Tech resulted in a run in the sixth inning. With two outs, freshman Hayley Downs reached on an infield single and then stole second base. When the throw down by catcher Heather Crow went into center field Downs took third, but center fielder Sara Sikes’ throw to third went into the Tech dugout allowing Downs to score the first run of the game. Jones followed by reaching on an error and stole second base, but Cross struck out Weseman looking to end the threat.
After Adkins worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Yellow Jackets came up with the heart of the order in the seventh looking to tie the game.
Rudnik led off with a double and was still there with two outs, but a single by Bear and a walk by freshman Ashley Thomas loaded the bases. On the first pitch, junior Kate Kuzma hit a hard one-hopper up the middle that appeared headed for center field but KSU shortstop Lyndsay McCurry dove up the middle and threw from her stomach to the second baseman Jensen Hackett to get Thomas at second and end the game.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action on Tuesday, March 1 with a single game at Georgia State. First pitch from Panthersville is set for 5 p.m. Live audio and stats will be available at RamblinWreck.com. Tech then hosts Niagara the next day at 5 p.m. in the 2011 home opener at Mewborn Field. Admission is free. If you can’t make it out to Mewborn Field, free video, audio and stats will be available at RamblinWreck.com.
Follow Georgia Tech Softball all season at Twitter.com/GaTechSoftball and on Facebook.