April 19, 2008
ATLANTA – Senior Savannah Brown was 5-for-7 with two home runs and five RBI as the Georgia Tech Softball Team (24-28, 5-11 ACC) split a doubleheader with Boston College (24-25, 3-11) Saturday afternoon at Glenn Field. The Yellow Jackets won game one 9-1 in six innings, but Boston College scored three early runs and held on for a 3-2 win in the night cap. Brown hit two solo home runs in the second game accounting for all of Tech’s scoring. Senior Aileen Morales was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, two walks and two stolen bases on the day.
Junior Tiffany Johnson returned to the pitching circle after missing more than a month with an injury and threw six shutout innings combined between the two games. She earned her first save of the season in game one. Senior Whitney Humphreys (14-14) started both games and was the pitcher of record each time. Humphreys and Johnson combined for 11 strikeouts on the afternoon and helped raise money to “Strikeout the Cure.” Fans donated money for every strikeout that Tech pitchers recorded to the the Atlanta Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
In game one, the Eagles took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning as Amanda Booth led off with a bunt single and scored later in the inning on a single by Taylor Peyton.
BC pitcher Allison Gage was lights out the first time through the Georgia Tech order, but the second time through was a different story. The Yellow Jackets recorded five straight hits after there were two outs, plating four runs and opening up a 4-1 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, the lineup turned over and senior Aileen Morales singled to right field. After stealing second base, Morales came around to score on a single by freshman Christy Jones. The hit for Jones extended her career-high hitting streak to eight games.
The Jackets kept the offense going as junior Blair Shimandle ripped a double into right-centerfield and then senior Savannah Brown hit a two-run double into the left field corner. Junior Whitney Haller capped the scoring and continued her torrid hitting with a RBI single into left-centerfield.
Tech senior pitcher Whitey Humphreys pitched four effective innings and then junior Tiffany Johnson came out for the fifth, her first appearance in the circle in more than a month. Humphreys allowed just the one run on two hits in four innings with a walk and five strikeouts.
After a 1-2-3 inning by Johnson in the top of the fifth, the Yellow Jackets added another run in the bottom half of the frame. Morales led off with a single down the left-field line and advanced to second base on an error by BC left fielder Allie Thunstrom. She was sacrificed to third base by Jones and then scored Tech’s fifth run on a ground out by Shimandle.
Johnson worked another 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and then the offense ended the game with four more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to enforce the run rule and take game one 9-1. With one out, freshmen Amanda Crow and Jessica Weaver both singled. Senior Stephanie Butler grounded out for the inning’s second out and then BC elected to intentionally walk Morales loading up the bases. Freshman pinch hitter Carolina Hilton worked a walk to earn her first collegiate RBI and make the score 6-1. A two-run double by Shimandle and then a RBI single by Brown ended the game.
Humphreys (14-13) won her sixth straight start and Johnson picked up her first save of the season as she pitched two perfect innings of relief with one strikeout. Gage (12-15) went the distance for the Eagles and allowed all nine earned runs on 10 hits and two walks. She did have two strikeouts.
In game two, the Eagles scored twice in the second inning on a Carley McNary inside the park two-run home run. She hit a line drive towards left field. Jones, who was playing in tight for the slap-hitting McNary, tried to dive but the ball got by her and went into the corner. The Yellow Jackets had a perfect relay into the plate, but McNary was just too fast and beat the throw in.
BC added another run in the third inning after consecutive doubles by Taylor Peyton and Renee Ramos, but a highlight reel catch by Jones in left field helped prevent any more Eagles from scoring.
Humphreys, who started game two, was pulled after the third inning in favor of Johnson again. John son did her job, easily retiring the Eagles and now it would be up to the Tech bats to get back in the game.
The Yellow Jackets had a chance to cut into their three-run deficit in the bottom of the third inning as senior Stephanie Butler singled and Morales walked with one out. They each moved up a base with one out on a wild pitch, but Peyton was able to get Jones on a line out and strike out Shimandle to end the inning.
Tech began to chip away in the fourth and made it 3-1 when Brown took the first pitch of the inning over the fence in left field for her sixth home run of the season. Peyton retired the next three Tech hitters in order, but it was now a 3-1 game heading to the fifth.
The score remained 3-1 until the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Brown launched another solo home run to left-centerfield. It was her second of the game and seventh of the season. Haller and then Barnes each got back-to-back singles and the Jackets had the makings of a big inning, but two great defensive plays by Boston College kept it a 3-2 game. BC centerfielder Carly McNary made a diving catch on a sinking liner off the bat of Weaver and then second baseman Renee Ramos made the play of the day. Freshman pinch hitter Amanda Crow hit a rocket up the middle that was ticketed for centerfield, but Ramos made a diving play on the hard smash and preserved the Eagle lead for at least another inning.
The Eagles had runners at the corners with one out in the top of the seventh, but Johnson and the Jackets were able to get out of it. Peyton hit a ground ball to Crow at second base and she was able to throw home for the second out of the inning and then Johnson got Ramos on a ground out to end the inning.
The Jackets came up for the bottom of the seventh inning against a new pitcher. Game one starter Allison Gage came in the game and got the first out of the inning, but Morales singled and stole second base putting the tying run in scoring position with one out. A Jones ground out, moved Morales to third base with two outs for Shimandle but her line drive up the middle was again snared by Ramos at second base ending the game.
Humphreys (14-14) took the loss as she allowed three earned runs on six hits in three innings. She had four strikeouts. Johnson shut the Eagles down for four innings to keep the Jackets in the game. She scattered six hits, did not walk a batter and fanned one.
Peyton (12-9) was credited with the win for Boston College as she allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks with a strikeout. Gage earned the save as she kept BC off the scoreboard in the seventh.
The Yellow Jackets and Eagles close out their three-game series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Tech will remain at Glenn Field all of next week as well as its closes out the regular season on an eight-game homestand. The Jackets host cross-town foe Georgia State on Wednesday, April 23 at 3:00 p.m. and then Maryland over the weekend, April 26-27. Live stats for every game is available via the Gametracker link at www.ramblinwreck.com.