April 15, 2004
ATLANTA – The No. 22 Georgia Tech (35-11, 1-3 ACC) softball team will take a ride up tobacco road for two pivotal Atlantic Coast Conference doubleheaders at NC State (29-19) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 17 and at North Carolina (35-15) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. The Wolfpack are 2-2 in ACC play, while the Tar Heels are alone in second place at 5-1.
The Yellow Jackets picked up their fourth win over a ranked opponent this past Tuesday, April 13, when junior Jessica Sallinger hurled her third no-hitter, fourth combined, of the season, striking out 10 against Alabama. It was the first time the Crimson Tide had been no-hit since the 1997 season.
Tech remains No. 22 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Poll and is just outside the rankings in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll for the second consecutive week. The Jackets’ pitching staff has shut out their opponents in each of the last seven wins for the Rambling Wreck. Tech ranks fourth in the nation with a team ERA of 0.76 and 19th in the NCAA with a .761 winning percentage.
Sallinger has the seventh best ERA (0.58) and strikeout per game ratio (11.2) in the country and is 22-6 on the season. Fellow starter senior Erin Voeltz (13-5) ranks 22nd in the nation with a 0.93 ERA.
Senior shortstop Tara Knudsen currently holds the eighth best slugging percentage in the nation at .857. The 2002 NFCA All-American also ranks ninth in the country with a .452 batting average. The Thornton, Colo., native leads the ACC in home runs (11), RBI (37), hits (57), on base percentage (.566) and total bases (108).
NC State is in its inaugural softball season and is off to a 29-19 start. Abbie Sims and Jennifer Chamberlin lead the Wolfpack. Sims is 20-6 on the season and has the fourth best ERA in the ACC (1.57). Chamberlin is tied with Knudsen with 11 home runs and also leads NC State with 10 doubles.
North Carolina enters the weekend as one of the hotter teams in the ACC and lead the overall series with the Yellow Jackets, 16-15. The Tar Heels have won 9 of their last 10 ballgames and hold a four-game lead in the league standings on the Jackets. UNC has not beaten a ranked opponent (0-5) this season and the Yellow Jackets enter the weekend with a national ranking of 22. Seniors Emily Price and Dionne Streete lead UNC. Price is hitting .403 with 10 home runs, while Streete is batting .348 with eight home runs.
The NC State-Georgia Tech games can be followed via live stats on www.ramblinwreck.com. The Wolfpack play at Walnut Creek Park in Raleigh, N.C., while the Tar Heels play at the UNC Softball Complex in Chapel Hill, N.C.