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No. 24 Tech Softball Travels To ACC Tournament

May 12, 2004

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ATLANTA – The 24th-ranked Yellow Jackets ended the regular season with an overall record of 41-15 and a 5-5 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Tech will be the No. 4 seed in the ACC Tournament and will face No. 5 NC State (32-25, 3-7 ACC) on Friday, May 14, at 11 a.m., in Tallahassee, Fla., in the opening game of the conference championship. The winner will face top-seeded Florida State (54-9, 9-1 ACC) at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Game Coverage
Live state will be provided for all of Tech’s games on www.ramblinwreck.com.

Georgia Tech Softball
Tech was swept for only the second time this season by Mississippi State, 10-2 (6) and 1-0, on Saturday afternoon at the MSU Softball Complex.

The Jackets remain in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Poll for the 11th consecutive week, dropping two spots to No. 24 in week 14. Tech dropped out of the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.

The Rambling Wreck surpassed 40 wins for just the second time in school history. In 2002, the Yellow Jackets finished the season with 52 victories and came within one win of making the College World Series.

Tech currently stands fourth in the ACC with a team batting average of .277. The Jackets rank second in the conference, and third in the nation, with a team ERA of 0.77. No. 5 Florida State leads the ACC and NCAA with a team ERA of 0.52.

Georgia Tech’s Jessica Sallinger ranks in three different national categories; seventh in strikeouts per game (10.75), ninth in ERA (0.71) and 11th in wins (26). Erin Voeltz holds the 23rd best ERA in the nation at 0.92.

Offensively, Tara Knudsen leads the way for Tech. The shortstop ranks 29th in the nation in slugging percentage (.723).

Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament
The Yellow Jackets enter this weekend’s conference championship with an overall record of 10-22 at the ACC Tournament. Tech won its opening game against North Carolina last season, 3-1, before dropping two straight to eventual champion Florida State, 5-3, and Virginia, 4-3.

In tournament play, the Yellow Jackets hold a winning record against Carolina by a 5-2 count.

The fifth-ranked Seminoles are 8-1 against the Rambling Wreck in postseason play at the tournament, while the Cavaliers hold a 7-3 advantage. Maryland has only lost to the Jackets once at the softball tournament, holding a 5-1 advantage.

In 2002, Tech captured its first and only ACC title, going 3-0. Junior Jessica Sallinger did not allow a run in the first two games of the tournament, earning ACC Tournament MVP honors after going 3-0.

ACC Tournament Field
The ACC Tournament has been won by Florida State on nine different occasions in its 12-year history. Despite this dominance, the last three ACC Tournaments have produce three different champions; Florida State (2003), Georgia Tech (2002) and North Carolina (2001). The No. 1 seed has won the tournament on four occasions and the Seminoles will be the top seed for the fourth straight season. The No. 2 seed has won the crown on six occasions.

No. 4 Georgia Tech (41-15, 5-5 ACC) and No. 5 NC State (32-25, 3-7 ACC) split the regular-season serires in Raleigh, N.C. on April 17. The Yellow Jackets blanked the Wolfpack in game one, 2-0, with the Pack returning the favor in the nightcap, 2-0.

The Jackets are 5-3 since dropping the second game at NC State, while the Pack are just 1-5 since that time. NC State has not played a game since May 1.

The winner of Tech and NC State will face top-seeded Florida State (54-9, 9-1 ACC). FSU was swept by No. 6 Michigan for the first time in four years on Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor, Mich., by scores of 2-1 and 1-0, at Alumni Field. The Tribe rebounded for a non-conference doubleheader split at Eastern Michigan on Monday afternoon, 2-0 and 5-6. The fifth-ranked Seminoles have seen the most recent action heading into the ACC Tournament and look to defend their 2003 ACC crown.

No. 3 seed Virginia (38-24-6-4 ACC) will take on No. 6 seed Maryland (31-25, 1-9 ACC) at 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The Cavaliers took two from the Terps in College Park, 6-1 and 11-3 (6), on April 25. The winner of UVa and UMD will face the second-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels. Virginia has appeared in the finals on seven occasions, winning just one title in 1994. Maryland captured a share of the title in 1997, when inclement weather would not allow the Terps and FSU complete the title game.

UNC (42-18, 6-4) earned the No. 2 seed due to a doubleheader sweep over Virginia in Charolettesville, Va., 3-1 and 7-2, on April 10. The Tar Heels picked up a conference sweep over the Terps as well, 1-0 and 5-3, in Chapel Hill, N.C., on April 11. The Heels captured the ACC title in 2001 and were defeated by Georgia Tech in the championship game in 2002. Carolina went 0-2 at last year’s tournament.

Florida State has been in the title game in 11 of the 12 contests and has won nine of them. Tech, Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have each won one ACC title.

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