May 9, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – All-conference pitcher Jessica Sallinger tossed a two-hitter, and junior Tasha Waugh hit a two-run home run to lead the third-seeded Georgia Tech softball team (36-21) to a 3-1 victory over No. 2 seed North Carolina (39-19-1) Friday in the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.
Sallinger (21-13) improved to 4-0 in her career in the conference tourney with the complete game victory. She allowed just one earned run and tied a seven-inning ACC Championship record with 10 strikeouts. She now owns 14 double-digit strikeout games this season. The MVP of last season’s tournament, Sallinger has allowed just one earned run in 30 innings of ACC tournament play. She has also fanned at least 10 batters in three of her four starts in the event.
Waugh put the Jackets up 2-0 in the second with her fourth home run of the season. The shot to deep left plated right fielder Soraya Reddick, who reached second on a two-base error on by Tar Heel third baseman Dionne Streete. Tech also threatened in both the first and third innings but stranded a pair of runners in both frames.
The Jackets pushed the lead to 3-0 on an unearned run in the fourth. Left fielder Kirin Kumar doubled to left center and later scored from second when UNC right fielder Natashalyn Snipes misplayed a fly ball off the bat of Tech second baseman Felicia Coursey.
Sallinger carried a one-hitter into the seventh before the Heels scratched for a run when Tech’s Reddick misplayed a single to right by Streete. The hit allowed UNC shortstop Emily Price to score from first and broke Sallinger’s shutout bid. Sallinger, however, settled back down and struck out pinch hitter Jessica Graziano to end the game.
North Carolina starter Crystal Cox, the 2003 ACC Rookie of the Year, took the loss for the Tar Heels. She falls to 24-11 after allowing six hits and two walks over seven innings.
With the victory, Tech has now won four in a row in ACC Championship play and four consecutive over North Carolina in the conference tournament. The Jackets move on to play the winner of Friday night’s game between top-seeded Florida State and Virginia, which defeated Maryland, 4-0 Friday, to open the event.