April 10, 2011
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Junior Kelsi Weseman and freshman Alysha Rudnik each hit two home runs as the No. 25/23 Georgia Tech softball team (34-7, 8-1 ACC) came from behind twice to beat Virginia Tech (29-11, 7-5) and win its ACC record 20th straight conference series. The Yellow Jackets had 26 hits in the two games and hit five home runs.
In game one, the completion of yesterday’s suspended game, Tech was down to its final strike when Rudnik hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the seventh inning. A two-run home run by junior Jessica Sinclair in the ninth proved to be the game-winner as the Yellow Jackets went on to win 8-5.
In the rubber game of the series, Tech trailed 3-1 with two outs in the fourth inning when junior Shannon Bear delivered a pinch-hit, two-run single to tie the game. In the fifth and sixth innings, Tech mounted a pair of four-run rallies, each time starting with two outs, to run away with an 11-3 win in six innings and the series win.
In game two of the series, the Hokies struck first with a run in the bottom of the second inning but it could have been worse. With runners at second and third, pinch hitter Kristine Cruz hit a blooper to shallow left field that got by junior Shannon Bear. Junior Kelsi Weseman went out from her shortstop position to get the ball and threw a strike home to senior Jessica Weaver who applied the tag on a potential second Hokie run and keep it just a 1-0 game.
Georgia Tech had runners at first and second with one out in the fourth inning but Kenzie Roark was able to get out of the jam. Then when Tech started to take the field for the bottom half of the inning, heavy rain began to fall and the game went into a rain delay. Eventually, it was suspended until Sunday.
When play resumed, the Yellow Jackets scored three times in the top of the fifth inning after Rush retired the side in the bottom of the fourth. With runners at second and third and one out, junior Kate Kuzma hit a sac fly to left field which tied the game and then junior Kelsi Weseman hit a two-run homer, her team-high 13th of the season, to center field putting the Yellow Jackets up 3-1. Tech had the bases loaded and two outs later in the inning, but Hokie second baseman Bkaye Smith made a diving catch on a line drive up the middle off the bat of junior Shannon Bear to rob Tech of two more runs and end the inning.
Tech added a run in the sixth inning as RBI ground out by Kuzma made it 4-1.
The Hokies came back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-4 lead. RBI hits by Betty Rose, Ashton Ward, Kristen Froehlich and Marra Hvozdovic off Rush gave Virginia Tech a one-run cushion for relief pitcher Jasmin Harrell.
The Yellow jackets were down to their final strike against Harrell, but on a 1-2 pitch freshman Alysha Rudnik lined a game-tying home run over the fence in right field. It was her 12th homer of the year.
Freshman Lindsey Anderson came in for the bottom of the seventh inning and retired the Hokies in order to send the game to extra innings.
The game remained tied at five until the ninth inning when the Yellow Jackets struck for three runs. After Weseman just missed a home run leading off the inning with a double off the fence in center field, Sinclair followed on the next pitch with a two-run home run to dead center putting Tech up 7-5. The Yellow Jackets added a run later in the inning on a pinch hit RBI single by junior Danielle Dike.
The Hokies got the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning but Richelle McGarva was thrown out at third base when she thought it was ball four and that’s how the game ended.
Anderson (7-0) got the win as she pitched three scoreless innings of relief. She allowed two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out one.
In the final game of the series, the Hokies jumped out first on a two-run homer by Courtney Liddle in the first inning off Tech senior Kristen Adkins.
The Yellow Jackets got a run back in the second when Weseman hit her 14th home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center making it a 2-1 game.
Liddle added a RBI single in the third inning to give the Hokies a 3-1 lead heading to the fourth.
The Yellow Jackets put the first two on in the fourth inning and that brought Roark into the game in relief of Harrell. She got two outs, including one on a lay at the plate, but after hitting senior Jessica Weaver the bases were loaded with two outs. Junior Shannon Bear came in and delivered a pinch hit, two-run single to right field tying the game at three.
It looked like it was going to be an easy 1-2-3 inning for Roark in the fifth, but the Jacket bats broke out for a two-out rally scoring four times. Weseman got it going with a single up the middle and then came around to score on a RBI double off the wall in right-center by Sinclair. After Rudnik was hit by a pitch, two runs scored on a double by senior Kristine Priebe. Weaver made it a 7-3 game with a RBI double herself off the fence in left-center field.
In the sixth, the Jackets did it again. After Ashton Ward got two quick outs, an error single and walk loaded the bases for Tech. Rudnik came up and hit a grand slam to left field breaking the game wide open as the Yellow Jackets took an 11-3 lead.
Adkins (16-4) got the complete-game win as she allowed three earned runs on two hits and two walks. She fanned seven.
The Yellow Jackets return to action on Wednesday when they host Georgia at 7 p.m. in a rematch from a game played in Athens two weeks ago. Live video, audio and stats for the game will be available at www.RamblinWreck.com.
Follow Georgia Tech Softball all season at www.Twitter.com/GaTechSoftball and on Facebook.