March 21, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Sophomore Kristen Adkins pitched 10.2 innings and picked up a pair of wins as the Georgia Tech Softball team (21-6, 2-0 ACC) opened Atlantic Coast Conference play by sweeping Virginia Tech (8-15, 0-2), 13-0 in five innings and 8-5 in 10 innings, Saturday at Tech Softball Park. The Yellow Jackets have now won 11 straight games and 14 of their last 15.
Adkins pitched four shutout innings allowing just three singles for the win in game one and then came back to pick up a win in relief during the game two marathon as she gave up two runs on four hits over 6.2 innings. At the plate, she added three hits and six RBI.
Junior Jen Yee led a 27-hit attack as she was 5-for-6 with four walks, five runs scored and two doubles. Freshman Kelsi Weseman was 5-for-8 with seven runs scored, a double and a solo home run, while senior Whitney Haller was 5-for-9 with a home run and seven RBI. The Yellow Jackets pounded out 27 hits on the day and had a team on-base percentage of .500
In game two, both teams scored a run in the ninth inning and then the Yellow Jackets won it with three in the top of the 10th. One run scored on a wild pitch, while Haller added two insurance runs on a two-run double.
In game one, the Yellow Jackets got going right away against Virginia Tech starting pitcher Kenzie Roark. Senior Blair Shimandle led off with a double and then back-to-back walks by Yee and Weseman loaded the bases with nobody out. Senior Tiffany Johnson provided the first run with a sacrifice fly and then with two outs later in the inning, Adkins recorded a two-run double.
The Yellow Jackets broke game one open with four more runs in the top of the third inning. Haller picked up a RBI single, driving home Yee who had doubled, making the score 4-0. Adkins added another RBI single putting Tech up 5-0 and then freshman Kate Kuzma made it 7-0 later in the inning when she ripped a two-run triple into the right-field corner.
That would be all the offense that Adkins would need in the circle. She scattered three hits over four scoreless innings with no walks and one strikeout while improving to 9-3 on the season.
The Jackets offense kept it going, however, with three runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to secure the run-rule win. In the fourth, Adkins added two more RBI giving her five for the game with a two-run double. Haller also drew a bases loaded walk in the inning as the Jackets now led 10-0.
Haller completed the scoring for the Yellow Jackets with a three-run home run in the top of the fifth. It was her sixth round-tripper of the season and also gave her five RBI for game one.
In game two, Georgia Tech struck first with a run in the second inning. After Kuzma drew a one-out walk, sophomore Jessica Weaver drove her home with a RBI double to the gap in right-center field. The Yellow Jackets then added two more runs in the third inning and a single one in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead after three and half frames. Adkins and Kuzma both had sacrifice flies in the third and then a solo home run by Weseman in the top of the fourth gave the Yellow Jackets the 4-0 lead. It was the second home run of the season for Weseman.
Freshman Jessica Coan was on cruise control until the fourth inning. After putting two on with one out in the first, Coan retired the next nine batters until three straight Hokies recorded singles loading the bases with just one out. Marra Hvozdovic came in as a pinch hitter and drew a bases-loaded walk making it a 4-1 game and then a two-run double off the right-field wall by Kristen Froehlich made it a 4-3 game and knocked Coan out.
Adkins came into the game in relief inheriting a second and third jam with one out, but was able to keep the Hokies off the scoreboard via a strikeout and a ground out to Weseman at short.
The Hokies did manage to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jessica Everhart hit a solo home run to left field with two outs.
Virginia Tech starting pitcher Abbie Rexrode was able to settle down and the Yellow Jackets did not record another hit until the ninth inning. The Jackets did have their chances to score the go-ahead run before the ninth inning though.
In the sixth, the Jackets had runners at first and second with one out after a walk and an error, but Rexrode was able to escape. Then in the seventh, the Hokies nearly won the game. They had a runner on second with no outs after a walk and a passed ball. After two ground outs, the Hokies had the winning run at third with two outs and their two best hitters coming up. After a meeting in the circle, head coach Sharon Perkins elected to intentionally walk both Charisse Mariconda and Everhart loading the bases with two outs. Adkins was able to come back and strike out Kristin Graham ending the inning and sending the game to extra frames.
Both teams went scoreless in the eighth inning and then the Yellow Jackets took a 5-4 lead with a run in the top of the ninth. Haller led off with a single and then freshman pinch runner Shannon Bear was sacrificed to second base on a bunt by Adkins. Kuzma and Weaver both followed by walking so the Jackets had the bases loaded and one out. With freshman Danielle Dike in as a pinch hitter, Rexrode un-corked a wild pitch. Bear easily scored the go-ahead run, but when the throw by catch Alicia Field got away, Kuzma tried to score from second base. Rexrode picked the ball up and threw back to Field who tagged out Kuzma for the second out of the inning. Dike then popped up so Rexrode got out of the inning with just one run scoring.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Hokies came back tie the game. Graham atoned for her bases-loaded strikeout in the seventh inning by delivering a two-out, game-tying single to left field.
In the 10th inning, the Jackets responded with three runs and this time the Hokies did not have an answer. Yee led off with a double and after a single by Shimandle, the Jackets had runners at second and third with no outs since she took second base on the throw home. Another wild pitch by Rexrode led to the go-ahead run again, but Shimandle was thrown out at the plate trying to score as well. Singles by Weseman and Johnson gave the Jackets two more insurance runs and then Haller drove them in with a two-run double against Roark, who had come into the game in relief of Rexrode.
Adkins retired the Hokies in order in the bottom of the 10th inning to complete the wild win for the Yellow Jackets. She was credited with the win to improve to 10-3 on the season and was charged with two earned runs on four hits and four walks in 6.2 innings of relief. Adkins also picked up four strikeouts.
Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech close out their three-game series with a single game tomorrow. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. and 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.