March 18, 2009
ATLANTA – Five different players had at least three hits led by freshman Kelsi Weseman who was 4-for-6 with two doubles and two RBI as the Georgia Tech softball team (19-6) swept a doubleheader from Winthrop (8-12), 6-4 and 7-1, Wednesday afternoon at Mewborn Field. The Yellow Jackets have now won nine straight games and 12 of their last 13 while extending their non-conference, home winning streak to 24.
Tech recorded five home runs on the day led by sophomore Kristen Adkins who had two. Seniors Tiffany Johnson and Whitney Haller as well as redshirt junior Jen Yee also went deep. Adkins, Johnson and Haller all had three RBI on the day for the Jackets, while it was sophomore Christy Jones, Adkins, Yee and Haller who had three-hit days. Johnson (8-1) won game one, while Adkins (8-3) picked up the victory in the night cap. Freshman Jessica Coan was credited with her first career save in game one as she pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
In game one, the Yellow Jackets struck first when Kristen Adkins crushed a solo home run with two outs in the second inning off Winthrop starting pitcher Megan Evans. It was the second round-tripper of the season for Adkins.
Second time through the order was much better for the Jackets as they added four runs in the third inning to open up a 5-0 lead. With runners at first and third and two outs, Tiffany Johnson gave the Yellow Jackets a 2-0 lead with a RBI single to left field and then Whitney Haller made it 5-0 with a three-run home run over the fence in left-center field. For Haller, it was her fifth home run of the season.
Kelsi Weseman continued her torrid hitting as she followed the Haller blast with a double into the gap in right-center, but Adkins’ bid for her second home run of the game came up just short as Winthrop right fielder Lisa Kingsmore caught her line drive in front of the fence.
Tech had a chance to put the game away in the bottom of the fourth. The Jackets loaded the bases with one out, but Winthrop relief pitcher Taylor Wright was able to strike out Jen Yee and get Johnson on a fly ball.
In the fifth, the Eagles clawed right back into the game. After a single and en error, Tessa Thomas drove a Johnson pitch over the fence to the opposite field and made it a 5-3 game. Johnson gave up a double in the inning, but was able to get out the jam without any further damage.
Tech tried to get those runs back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Haller and Weseman led off with singles and then Adkins drew a four-pitch walk loading the bases with nobody out. Wright came back to get Jessica Weaver on a pop-up and then strike out Jessica Sinclair for two quick outs. Shannon Bear then made a bid for a grand slam, but Winthrop center fielder Tessa Thomas went back to the wall in dead center field, leaped and robbed Bear of what would have been at least a bases-clearing double. She leaped and caught the ball about a foot below the top of the fence and kept Winthrop within striking distance as the game moved to the sixth inning and Tech hanging onto the 5-3 lead.
The Yellow Jackets got one run back for Johnson in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs and runners at the corner, Weseman recorded her second double of the game. Jones, who had walked, scored easily from third but Haller, who also walked in the frame, was thrown out at the plate.
Winthrop would not go quietly in the seventh. Megan Chapman took the first pitch of the inning over the fence in left making the score 6-4 in favor of the Jackets and after a walk to Pearl Coleshill, Johnson was relieved by freshman Jessica Coan.
Coan was able to come in and close the door on Winthrop as she picked up three outs on just six pitches for her first career save.
Johnson improved to 8-1 with the win as she allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits. She walked two and struck out four.
In game two, the Yellow Jackets wasted no time jumping on Winthrop starting pitcher Cari Woolridge. With Jen Yee on second base after doubling into the left-field corner, Johnson crushed the ball to dead center field for a two-run home run, her team-high seventh of the year.
Tech was not done in the inning. Back to back RBI singles with two outs and the bases loaded by Adkins and Jones gave the Yellow Jackets a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
The Eagles got one of the runs back in the top of the second inning when Lenny Stoddart led off the frame with a home run to left field against Tech freshman starting pitcher Jessica Coan.
The Yellow Jackets got the run back, however, in the bottom of the second inning when Weseman delivered a RBI single. Yee was able to cross the plate as she singled and went to second base on an error earlier in the inning. Adkins then made it 6-1 with a solo home run in the third inning, her second of the day and third of the season.
Adkins came into pitch for Coan after three innings and was just as effective. In the top of the sixth, the Eagles threatened to get back in the game by loading the bases with just one out, but Adkins was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out to Yee at second base.
Yee completed the scoring on the afternoon for Tech when she hit a two-out, solo home run to dead center in the sixth inning. It was Yee’s third home run of the season. In the seventh, Adkins worked around a one-out single and helped Tech complete the sweep.
Adkins picked up the win in relief as she allowed no runs on three hits in four innings improving to 8-3 this season. Coan gave up one run three hits in three innings of work. Each pitcher walked two batters while Adkins recorded all four of the Jackets’ strikeouts.
The Yellow Jackets hit the road over the weekend to open up Atlantic Coast Conference play at Virginia Tech. The Jackets and defending ACC champion Hokies will play a doubleheader Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and then a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. 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.