May 9, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Senior Brittany Barnes was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as Georgia Tech (31-29) pounded out 10 hits en route to a 5-3 win over Virginia (15-39) in an elimination game at the ACC Tournament, The game was played following a rain delay that lasted nearly nine and a half hours. Senior Aileen Morales was also 2-for-4 with two RBI, while senior Becky McCraw and junior Blair Shimandle added two hits apiece.
Both teams went quietly in the first inning, but in the second the Jackets took a 1-0 lead when senior Brittany Barnes crushed a Karla Wilburn offering over the fence in left-centerfield. It was her team-high 12th round-tripper of the season.
In the top of the third inning, senior Becky McCraw led off by ripping a double off the left field fenced that just missed being her first career home run by a few feet. After being sacrificed to third base by freshman Christy Jones, McCraw was unable to score as senior Aileen Morales grounded out and then freshman pinch hitter Carolina Hilton flied out to deep right field.
Tech broke the game open with four runs on six hits in the top of the fourth inning against four different UVA pitchers. Junior Blair Shimandle led off the inning with a single and then stole second base, her 37th of the season. Whitney Holstun then came into the game in relief of Wilburn and inherited a 1-0 count to junior Whitney Haller. Haller greeted her rudely as she lined a single into left field driving home Shimandle with the Jackets’ second run of the game.
Haller went to second base on the throw home and then sophomore pinch runner Kelly Eppinger came around to score on a RBI single up the middle by Barnes. The third UVA pitcher of the inning, Allee Rife had came in to face Barnes and then allowed singles to freshman Jessica Weaver and McCraw loading the bases for freshman pinch hitter Amelia Beach.
Beach reached on a fielder’s choice as Eppinger was forced out at home, but with two outs senior Aileen Morales made it 5-0 Tech with a two-out, two-run single to right field. Virginia starting pitcher Karla Wilburn came back in the game and finally ended the inning when UVA centerfielder Meghan O’Leary made a diving catch on a sinking line drive by senior Stephanie Butler.
Humphreys was done after five solid innings in which she allowed just three hits and a walk. She also had three strikeouts as junior Tiffany Johnson came in for the final two frames, but lasted just two batters. After issuing a single and four-pitch walk, Humphreys came back into the game. Virginia was able to get unearned runs in the inning as the Yellow Jackets committed a pair of errors in the field, but Humphreys got a big strike out of Abby Snyder with runners on first and second to end the inning.
Tech left two runners on base in the top of the seventh inning, but Humphreys worked a quick 1-2-3 bottom half of the frame that included a pair of strikeouts to end the game. Humphreys ended up going 7.0 innings and was charged for one unearned run on four hits and a walk. She had seven strikeouts.
Georgia Tech will now play tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. against the loser of the winner’s bracket game between No. 2 Virginia Tech and No. 3 Florida State. That game can be seen on ACC Select and live stats will also be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.