May 14, 2005
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year Jessica Sallinger (26-7) tied the ACC all-time record with her 107th career victory and senior Katie Donovan drove in two runs to lead No. 16 Georgia Tech (48-12) past third-seeded Virginia (31-31), 3-0, in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Saturday at the Terrapin Softball Complex. The Yellow Jackets advance to the championship game for the third time in four seasons.
Sallinger, a native of Kennesaw, Ga., fanned nine batters in five innings of scoreless work, allowing just three hits and moving into a tie for fifth all-time in the NCAA with 1,370 career strikeouts. Sophomore Sarah Wood (15-4) tallied her second save of the season, working the final two innings, retiring all six batters, to combine with Sallinger for a shutout.
Junior Amy Hosier led off the bottom of the second inning with a double off the top of the right field fence and advanced to third base on a ground ball to the right side of the field by freshman Savannah Brown. Hosier came into to score on a close call at the plate as Donovan hit a ball to the UVa second baseman who decided to come home with it, but Hosier slid around the tag to put the Jackets on top 1-0. Kumar pushed the advantage to 2-0 with a two-out RBI single up the middle to plate Donovan.
The Cavaliers loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third inning on two walks and a base hit by ACC Player of the Year Sara Larquier. Sallinger retired the next three batters on two strikeouts and a pop out to first base to keep the Cavaliers off the scoreboard and preserve Tech’s 2-0 lead.
Donovan drove in the third run of the game for the Yellow Jackets in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI double to left-center field to chase UVa’s Coty Tolar (13-15) from the circle. Erin Horn entered the game for the Cavaliers with a runner on third and one out. Horn picked up a big strikeout for the second out of the inning and a fly out to center field to retire the side.
Kumar led off the seventh with a base hit to center field, but the Jackets were unable to move her over to second base as freshman Aileen Morales popped up a bunt. With two outs, Sheridan drew a walk to put runners and first and second, but Horn recorded her second K of the game to bring the Cavaliers to bat in the bottom half of the inning down by three.
UVa went down in order to end the game and send the Yellow Jackets to the ACC title game on Sunday at Noon. The top-seeded Jackets will have to be beaten twice on Sunday.
The action at the ACC Tournament can be followed at ACC Tournament Central.