ATLANTA (March 8) – The Georgia Tech softball team dropped a pair of extra-inning contests on the opening day of the Speedline Invitational. The four-day tournament is being hosted by South Florida at USF Field and the Greco Softball Complex in Tampa, Fla. The Yellow Jackets (11-8) lost the first game to Boston University (5-4) by a 1-0 count in eight innings, and then fell to host South Florida (16-14) in the second game of the day by a 3-1 score in eight innings.
In the day’s first game, Tech starter Tiffany Goodman and Boston University’s Tiffany Finateri combined for a shutout through seven innings of play. In the eighth inning, the Yellow Jackets were unable to take advantage of their opportunity in the tiebreaker, as Erin Glantz was thrown out at the plate while attempting to score on a wild pitch.
The Terriers made the most of their opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, as Kenya Palmer scored the game’s only run on a Tech error. Palmer crossed the plate after the ball went into the outfield when the Yellow Jackets attempted to catch her as she stole third base.
Finateri (2-3) picked up her second win of the year as she earned the complete game shutout by allowing only three hits and striking out four. Goodman (5-4) was the hard-luck loser, as she did not allow an earned run and gave up only four hits to the Terriers in a complete-game outing.
Against South Florida, Tech got on the board first as Erin Hawley scored on an RBI single by Jennifer Biggers in the fourth inning. Hawley reached base on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a single by Tasha Waugh.
The Bulls answered in the top of the fifth inning when Cindy Turek scored on a groundout by her sister Kristin after reaching base with a leadoff double to the corner in left field. Cindy Turek advanced to third on an error by the Yellow Jackets prior to scoring.
In the extra frame, South Florida’s Kristin Turek scored the winning run on an RBI single by Stephanie Roberts after reaching third on a sacrifice bunt by Rena Rodriguez. Turek had been placed on second base due to the tiebreaker procedure. Roberts later scored an insurance run, as she was able to cross the plate from third base when Courtney Lewellen allowed herself to be caught in a rundown between first and second base. Roberts had previously advanced to second on a single by Lewellen and went to third on a Tech error during the same play.
South Florida’s Jamie Peterka (3-5) earned the win in relief as she tossed 1.2 innings and allowed only one hit while striking out three Tech hitters. Jessica Kowal started for the Bulls and threw 6.1 innings, allowing only one run before being replaced by Peterka. The Jackets squandered their second strong pitching performance of the day, as freshman Erin Voeltz (5-4) took the loss after tossing a complete game without allowing an earned run and striking out six USF batters.
Tech will return to action on Friday, when it faces Penn State at 10:00 a.m., and Tennessee Tech at noon.