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Sallinger's 15 Strikeouts Lead Tech to 3-0 Win over Chattanooga at NCAA Regional

May 19, 2002

Box Score

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Thanks to a three-hitter and a school record 15 strikeouts by freshman Jessica Sallinger, the Georgia Tech softball team (52-16) defeated Chattanooga, 3-0, in NCAA Regional action at the Seminole Softball Complex. Heavy rains hit the area at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, forcing suspension of play until 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

With the victory, Jackets move within one victory of their first-ever trip to the Women’s College World Series. Chattanooga and Florida State play at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in an elimination game, which was slated to be played Saturday. The winner of this game will face Tech for a trip to the WCWS, slated to start Thursday, May 23, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Still undefeated in the Regional, Tech has two chances to get one victory and advance.

Sallinger allowed just three hits, while fanning a school-record 15 batters in seven innings of work. She has allowed just one earned run in 21 innings at the NCAA Regional. She walked the first batter in the seventh before retiring the side.

Sallinger improves to 28-7 with her 10th straight win. She was earned the win in all six of Tech’s postseason wins. Sallinger now has 12 shutouts on the season.

Tech center fielder Sara Wissmann ended what had been a stellar pitchers’ dual in the top of the sixth with a triple to left center, scoring pinch runner Kirin Kumar from second and designated player Mimi Utt from first. That hit chased Chattanooga starter Beth Alexander from the game and gave the Jackets a 2-0 lead.

Those runs were the first allowed by Alexander in 18.1 innings at the Regional.

The Jackets added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, as catcher Lindsay Wood doubled to right center to score shortstop Tara Knudsen, who reached on a fielder’s choice, from first. Wood now has an ACC record 27 doubles this season.

The game had been a display of pitching and defense early, as Sallinger and Alexander combined to allow just six hits through the first five innings, but both teams had several chances to scratch first.

Tech threatened to post a big first inning for the second consecutive game, as a Felicia Coursey infield single and a pair of walks loaded the bases. But Alexander got Jackets’ designated player Mimi Utt to line to short to end the inning.

The Lady Mocs also put a pair on the bottom of the inning, as Sallinger walked Dana Reed and Melissa Ramirez before fanning Jada Pescatore and Jill Crawford, the number four and five batters, to get out of the frame.

Sallinger, who has earned the win in all six of Tech’s postseason victories, started out the strong, as she got her first eight outs via the strikeout. No balls were put in play by the Lady Mocs until a third-inning single to left center by Reed broke a streak of seven consecutive strikeouts by Sallinger.

Chattanooga put together a serious threat in the fourth, as it loaded the bases with just one down. Sallinger struck out pinch hitter Amanda Woodall and got catcher Jolene Martin to pop to third baseman Jamie Frost in foul territory to retire the side.

The Lady Mocs again threatened in the fifth, as two reached base before Sallinger struck out Ramirez and Pescatore to end the inning, fanning the side for the third time in the contest.

Tech has now won seven consecutive games and 14 of its last 15, including six straight in Tallahassee. The Jackets have not committed an error in nine contests.

This win moved Tech to 3-0 on the season against the Lady Mocs, who had won 12 in a row and 18 of 19 since dropping a doubleheader in Atlanta on April 10.

-GT-

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