Feb. 10, 2005
Georgia Tech softball standout pitcher Jessica Sallinger took over the Atlantic Coast Conference record in career strikeouts (1,046) on Wednesday, Feb. 9. The senior talks about the season ahead and becoming the ACC strikeout leader.
What does it mean to you to become the all-time strikeout leader in the ACC?
“I mean it’s an honor. I don’t get caught up in individual achievements, but it’s good for Georgia Tech. We [Georgia Tech] have not been a dominant softball school for a long time, so the notoriety is good.”
What made you decide to come to Tech?
“I wanted to stay close to home. I looked where I was going to get the most amount of playing time and the other schools that were recruiting me weren’t looking at me to be one of their top starters and I knew that I would start right away here.”
Over the last three seasons, Tech has won 137 games, won an ACC title and played in a NCAA Regional Championship game. Did you think that was possible when you first came to Tech?
“No. Looking back on it, we probably have not gone as far as we could have, but we have a good team this year and if everything works out, maybe this year we can.”
The recruiting at Tech has grown to a national level with players coming here from all over the country, what do you attribute that to?
“We done really well over the last three years and coach E [Ehren Earleywine] is an excellent recruiter. The better the team gets, the more people want to come and play for your school.”
How would you rate the ACC this year?
“Having three-game series is going to help us out a lot this year. NC State is going to be a solid team after fielding its first softball team last season; they’re going to be really good. Florida State is always the favorite and talented again this year, Virginia Tech has a solid team too. The conference is going to be really tough, but we have another tough non-conference schedule and that should prepare us for a tough ACC season.”
When you look at the schedule, which games do you mark down and say you cannot wait to pitch against them?
“Georgia! I grew up in the state and Katie [Donovan] and I have friends on that team, so it intensifies the rival. Florida State is always somebody you look forward to competing against and the Leadoff Classic always fields a bunch of good teams. But you have to stay focused for all the other games and just throw game-by-game.”
When you’re done wearing a Tech uniform, what do you think you will take away from playing for the Yellow Jackets?
“The friendships I’ve made over the last three years. Playing softball for a good Division I program like Tech. There’s noting like going out there and pitching in a big game. Winning an ACC title was great. It’s an end of an era for Katie and I, we’ve been playing softball together since we were 10-years-old. It’s touch to even think about it. I’m just going to enjoy this season as much as I can.”