March 22, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. – A walk-off RBI single by Kristin Graham in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Virginia Tech softball team (9-15, 1-2 ACC) a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Georgia Tech (21-7, 2-1) Sunday afternoon in the series finale. The loss snaps the Yellow Jackets’ winning streak at 11 games.
Freshman Kelsi Weseman continued her hot hitting as she went 2-for-4 with a double and extended her hitting streak to a career-high eight games.
With the score tied at two, Erin Ota led off the seventh inning with a double. Sophomore Kristen Adkins came into the game to pitch for senior starter Tiffany Johnson who had thrown 116 pitches. The first batter Adkins faced was Charisse Mariconda and she was greeted rudely with a bloop single into right field. Freshman Jessica Sinclair charged and threw a dart home to nail Ota out at the plate with the tying run and get the first out of the inning. Mariconda was able to move up to second base on the throw to the plate.
Adkins then intentionally walked Jessica Everhart, but on a 1-2 pitch Graham singled into center field. Senior Blair Shimandle charged the ball and threw a strike home, but Mariconda just slid in safely for the winning run.
The Yellow Jackets scored first with two runs in the top of the second inning. Johnson led off with a single and then senior Whitney Haller drew a four-pitch walk putting two on with nobody out. After Adkins sacrificed both runners up a base, Virginia Tech starting pitcher Kenzie Roark was able to get freshman Kate Kuzma on a pop-up for the inning’s second out. Sophomore Jessica Weaver walked to load the bases and then sophomore Caroline Hilton came in as a pinch hitter and came through in the clutch with a two-run single up the middle. Yee followed with a single, but Roark was able to get Shimandle on a ground out with the bases loaded ending the inning.
The Hokies came back to tie it with two unearned runs on just one hit in the third off of Johnson. Amber Walker led off the inning by reaching on an error, was sacrificed to second base and then scored on a RBI single by Mariconda. Later in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Johnson struck out Whitney Davis, but when the ball squirted out of the mitt of Weaver she beat the throw to first base and Ota scored the tying run via the passed ball. Johnson finished by striking out Beth Walker to get out of the jam but it was now a tie game.
Graham entered the game in relief of Roark in the third and was able to shut down the Yellow Jacket bats. Tech had the bases loaded with two outs in the fourth inning, but Graham was able to force a ground out by Shimandle and end the inning.
The Yellow Jackets had another golden chance to score in the fifth. Freshman Kelsi Weseman continued her hot hitting for the Jackets as she led off with a double. After moving to third base on a wild pitch with nobody out, Graham retired the next three batters to end the threat.
Adkins (10-4) took the tough loss as she was charged for a run on two hits and a walk in one-third of an inning. Johnson took the no decision as she gave up two unearned runs on four hits and three walks in six-plus innings. Johnson struck out seven batters.
Graham picked up her first career win as she held the Yellow Jackets scoreless over five innings. She allowed three hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
The Yellow Jackets will return home again this week to open up a seven-game homestand. Up first will be a doubleheader against Georgia Southern on Tuesday. Game one will begin at 3 p.m. The Georgia Tech Softball team and the Atlanta Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation have partnered together in an effort to raise awareness and funds to help fight the cause of breast cancer. The Yellow Jackets will host the second annual “Strikeout for the Cure” during both Georgia Southern games.
Parents, fans, businesses and coworkers may pledge amounts for every strikeout Yellow Jacket pitchers record against Georgia Southern. Flat donations will also be accepted and 100% of the money raised will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Live audio and stats of all Georgia Tech softball games this season are available at www.ramblinwreck.com. The three-game series this weekend will also be available on ACC Select for a small fee.