March 27, 2008
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Softball Team (15-21, 2-4 ACC) takes its five-game winning streak to Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend for a crucial ACC series at #19/20 North Carolina (30-6, 5-1). The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and then conclude the series with a single game Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Both of Saturday’s games will be available on ACC Select.
“This will be a good test this weekend to see where we stand,” head coach Sharon Perkins said. “We have made some great adjustments in the last couple weeks and I really think we are in a good place. UNC is a very solid team and I know that we are looking forward to the challenge.”
At 5-1, the Tar Heels are tied with Virginia Tech for first-place in the league standings. The Yellow Jackets, who gave Virginia Tech its only league loss, are currently in a three-way tie for fifth place with NC State and Virginia. Georgia Tech is 22-24 all-time against North Carolina. The Tar Heels took two out of three games last season at Glenn Field, including a 4-2, 12-inning thriller in game one.
Tech is riding a season-long, five-game winning streak after Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep of Furman at Glenn Field. Junior Blair Shimandle went 5-for-5 with five stolen bases and three runs scored and senior Whitney Humphreys and freshman Emily Schreck each tossed a shutout in the wins.
The Yellow Jackets are now batting .245 as a team and are 80-for-86 (.930) in stolen base attempts. Senior Aileen Morales leads the ACC and is fourth in the nation with 29 stolen bases. She has not been thrown out. Shimandle also has 23 thefts in 26 chances, while freshman Christy Jones is 20-for-23. The Yellow Jackets are the only team in the country with three players in the top 30.
Senior Savannah Brown, who had four RBI in game two of last Saturday’s contest against Coastal Carolina breaking the all-time Georgia Tech record of 172 set by Anne Knobbe, is now four RBI shy of tying the ACC record of 181 set by Virginia’s Sara Larquier. In addition, junior Whitney Haller is now two home runs away from tying Tara Knudsen’s Georgia Tech home run record of 46 and five behind NC State’s Jen Chamberlin for the ACC record (49).
At the top of the order, Morales has been on fire for the Yellow Jackets. After the Feb. 29 game against #2 Texas A&M, the Columbus, Ga., native was hitting a season-low .250 but is now up to .345. In the month of March, Morales has hit at a .409 clip with 20 runs scored, three doubles, a triple, two home runs and 14 RBI. Morales, who hit her first career grand slam March 22 at Coastal Carolina, is a perfect 25-for-25 in stolen base attempts during 19 March games. Jones has also enjoyed the month of March as she has seen her average go from .208 to .278. Jones, who has bounced between second and eighth in the Tech line-up, is batting .346 with 10 runs scored and 14 stolen bases during March.