May 16, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senior Tara Knudsen drove in the game’s only run for Georgia Tech (45-17) as the 24th-ranked Yellow Jackets fell to No. 4 Florida State (57-9), 3-1, in the Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship game at the Seminole Softball Complex on Sunday afternoon.
“When you play Florida State, you have to play an error free game,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “They’re such a good hitting team that you hope that they hit some balls right at people and that’s what happened to us today. We tip our hat to Casey Hunter, she is one of the best pitcher’s in the country.
“I liked the way our girls competed and never gave up. We won three games on Saturday and played the most amount of games at the tournament and they never quit. Now, we’re just going to wait and see if we get a NCAA Regional bid and rest up until Thursday.”
Senior Tara Knudsen finished the game 1-for-3, with one RBI and sophomore Lauren Schlechte broke up FSU’s Casey Hunter’s no-hitter in the sixth inning with a leadoff double, ending the game 1-for-3. Hunter went the distance for the Seminoles, scattering three hits, allowing one run and struck out 10. Junior Jessica Sallinger (29-8) picked up the loss in the circle for Tech, going five innings, allowing three hits, three runs and fanned four. Sallinger ended the ACC Tournament with a record of 3-1.
The fourth-ranked Seminoles threatened in the top of the first inning as Jessica van der Linden singled up the middle and Leslie Palmer drew a walk with two outs. Elisa Vasquez then lined out to center field as Tech’s Soraya Reddick made a nice catch in the outfield to keep FSU scoreless.
LaShaun Davis put FSU on top in the second inning with a RBI triple to right center field. Florida State’s Veronica Wootson added a second run for the Seminoles with a bunt single to first base as Tech trailed 2-0.
Palmer added another run for the Trube in the fifth inning on a two-out RBI double off the left field fence as the Yellow Jackets were down by three, 3-0.
Senior Erin Voletz entered the game for the Jackets on the mound in the sixth inning. Voeltz gave up two hits as the Seminoles put runners at second and third with one out. Voeltz tallied a strikeout for the second out and induced a pop out to third base to end the inning.
Sophomore Lauren Schlechte broke up Casey Hunter’s no-hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning with a leadoff double off the center field fence. After a strikeout and a line out, senior Tara Knudsen plated Schlechte on a single up the middle to bring the Yellow Jackets within two, 3-1. Junior Katie Donovan kept the rally going for Tech with a single to third base as the Jackets had runners at first and second with two outs. Hunter picked up her 10th strikeout of the game to end the Tech threat in the sixth as the game advanced to the seventh inning.
The Seminoles put runners on first and second with one out, but Voeltz struck out two of the next three batters to keep the score 3-1 as Tech came in for its final at-bats. Sopomore Amy Hosier led off the inning with a bunt and FSU dropped the throw at first as Tech had its leadoff runner on. Senior Sara Wissmann then lined to first base as the Seminoles turned a double play. Freshman Kristina Hull then reached first base on the second Tribe error of the inning, but Hunter retired Schlechte on a pop out to first base to end the game.
Knudsen, Sallinger and Wissmann were all selected to the ACC All-Tournament Team, announced this afternoon after the game.
The Rambling Wreck will await the NCAA Regional Committee’s decision to invite Tech as an at-large team. The Yellow Jackets have been an at-large selection in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments. The Selection Show can be watched on ESPNews at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight.