May 16, 2010
BLACKSBURG, Va. – No. 7/7 Georgia Tech (49-9) jumped out to an 8-0 lead and went on to an 8-4 win over No. 24/25 Florida State (43-16) in the 2010 ACC Championship game at Tech Softball Park. It is the fourth ACC Tournament title for the Yellow Jackets in program history and second straight season they have beaten FSU in the championship game.
“Our batters did a great job of sticking to the game plan all weekend and we were able to come through with some timely hits,” said two-time ACC Coach of the Year Sharon Perkins. “Hope [Rush} mixed her pitches well and had them off balance for most of the game. FSU is a good hitting team and I give them credit for fighting back. All weekend, our batters did a great job of working pitch counts and getting on base. I’m happy these players were able to win the trophy again and now we can look forward to the NCAA Tournament.”
Freshman pitcher Hope Rush was named the tournament’s MVP as she followed up her no-hitter yesterday with a win this afternoon. Rush held the Seminoles to two hits through five innings, but FSU broke through for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Rush improved to 28-6 on the season as she was charged with four earned runs on seven hits in six innings. She walked two and struck out two.
Redshirt senior Jen Yee went 2-for-3 with a run scored and two walks as she has now reached base in all 58 games this season. Kuzma, Rush and freshman Caitlin Jordan also had two hits on the day as the Jackets pounded out 10 on the afternoon. Kuzma and Jordan each had a pair of RBI.
Sarah Hamilton drew the start for the Seminoles and got into trouble early. Tech loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning, but Hamilton got sophomore Danielle Dike on a foul out to left field.
After a 1-2-3 inning for Rush in the bottom of the first inning, Tech broke through with three runs in the top of the second. With sophomore Shannon Bear on second base and two outs, FSU elected to intentionally walk redshirt senior Jen Yee. Kuzma made the Seminoles pay as she launched the ball over the fence in left field for a three-run home run putting the Jackets up 3-0.
Rush had another easy 1-2-3 inning in the second and then Tech scored three more times in the top of the third to knock Hamilton out of the game. Rush led off with a single, one of two hits on the day for her. After Hamilton hit sophomore Danielle Dike, she was relieved by Terese Gober.
Freshman Caitlin Jordan was the first batter Gober faced and was greeted rudely with a RBI single. Runs also scored in the inning on a RBI single by junior Christy Jones and a foul out as Tech built a 6-0 lead.
It remained 6-0 until the fifth inning when Tech plated two more runs off Gober. Jordan drove in one with a RBI double while Kuzma was also hit by a pitch with the bases loaded as Tech built an 8-0 lead after four and a half innings.
Rush had cruised through the first five innings, but the Seminoles struck for four runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth inning. Carly Wynn led off with a solo home run, while Robin Ahrberg and Jen Lapicki had run-producing doubles. The inning could have been worse, but Tech turned a 5-3-6 double-play to get out of the inning.
Junior Kristen Adkins came in for the seventh inning and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning as the Yellow Jackets clinched their second straight title.
Hamilton (21-9) took the loss as she allowed five earned runs on four hits and four walks in 2.2 innings over two different stints. Terese Gober allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. Each pitcher struck out a batter.
The Yellow Jackets will now wait for tonight’s NCAA Selection Show to see where they will play for next weekend’s regional. The show will air live from 10-11 p.m. on ESPNU. Georgia Tech will be making its ninth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. In the final NCAA RPI released earlier this week, the Jackets were fifth. Last season, Tech hosted a regional for the first time and advanced to a Super Regional for the first time in school history.