March 19, 2002
AUBURN, Ala. – Fueled by a four-hitter in game two by freshman pitcher Jessica Sallinger, the Georgia Tech softball team (22-8, 0-0 ACC) posted a 2-1 win and salvaged a doubleheader split with Auburn Wednesday at the Auburn Softball Complex. The Tigers took game one, 9-1.
Sallinger (11-3) was stellar in game two, allowing just one run on four hits, none of which came after the third inning. She struck out five and walked four in seven innings of work.
After dropping game one, Tech jumped out early in the second contest. Right fielder Soraya Reddick led off the second inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Jamie Frost. Reddick advanced to third as center fielder Sara Wissmann reached on an infield single. The throw got by the first baseman, allowing Reddick to score and giving the Jackets a 1-0 lead.
The Jackets added a run in the third, as second baseman Felicia Coursey led off the inning with her sixth triple of the season. With shortstop Tara Knudsen at first via a walk, Coursey scored on a wild pitch by pitcher Jen Lofton, increasing the lead to 2-0.
Auburn cut the lead in half in its half of the third. Second baseman Jennifer Hammock doubled off the left field wall, scoring third baseman Martha Phillips and making the count 2-1.
Tech had several chances to extend its lead but failed to do so, as the Jackets left the bases loaded in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. In all, Tech stranded 13 runners on base.
But Sallinger was enough, as the Jackets held on for the win. With her five strikeouts, she now has 123 on the season, needing just five more to eclipse the Tech single-season strikeout record.
At the plate, the Jackets were led by Coursey, Reddick and Wissmann, who had two hits apiece. As a team, Tech equaled its season high of 10 hits.
Lofton fell to 7-6 with the game two loss.
Auburn used a pair of two-run homers and took advantage of three Yellow Jacket errors in posting the eight-run win in the first game.
The Jackets fell behind early, as Auburn second baseman Kelly Sutton sent a two-run home run to left center field, giving the Tigers a 2-0 advantage after two innings. Right fielder Jodie Van Ooyen, who walked earlier, scored on the play.
Auburn tacked on two more runs in its half of the fourth. Catcher Deni Zeigler doubled to right center field, scoring two and extending the Tiger lead to 4-0.
A two-run homer to center by Auburn center fielder Ashley Moore off Tech reliever Tiffany Goodman pushed the lead to 6-0.
The Jackets finally got on the board in the top of the sixth, as designated player Mimi Utt drew a bases-loaded walk to score first baseman Katie Donovan, who singled to lead off the inning. Donovan led Tech in game one with a pair of hits.
The Tigers scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, pushing the lead to 9-1 and ending the game due to the eight-run rule.
Auburn starter Kristin Keyes won her 10th game of the season, allowing five hits and one run in six innings. She walked three and fanned six.
Sophomore Erin Voeltz fell to 6-4 with the loss. She allowed three hits and four runs (three earned) in four innings. Goodman entered in the fifth, giving up four hits and five runs (three earned) in 1.2 innings.
Tech returns to action Friday, when it hosts the 2002 Buzz Classic at Al Bishop Softball Complex in Marietta. The Jackets open the 24-team event with Tennessee Tech at 6 p.m. and Harvard at 8 p.m. on Friday, followed by Illinois at 3 p.m. and Charleston Southern at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Bracket play begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday and concludes with the championship game at 1 p.m. Sunday.