ATLANTA (April 3) – Coming off a sweep of Atlantic Coast Conference rival Florida State, the Georgia Tech softball team (20-22, 2-2) hosts Georgia Southern (21-23) and East Carolina (40-6, 0-0) this week at Glenn Field. Tech and the Eagles play a doubleheader Wednesday, beginning at 3 p.m., while the Yellow Jackets and Pirates play 1 p.m. games Saturday and Sunday.
The wins over Florida State ended Techs 10-game ACC losing streak, but head coach Kate Madden is not taking any time to enjoy her first conference victories as the team prepares for a challenging week.
“I am happy that we got our wins over Florida State and ended the losing streak,” said Madden. “But, I am more happy with the way that our team won those conference games. I felt like we deserved to win in each game, and that is what pleases me most. We have another busy week ahead of us, so our team will go about business as usual and look to extend our winning streak.”
Tech leads the series with Georgia Southern, 22-10, including a season-opening sweep in Statesboro, 7-1 and 10-8.
“I expect our games against Georgia Southern will be extremely competitive,” said Madden. “We swept them on their home field earlier in the year, and took two from them last season, so they will probably be looking for revenge.”
The Pirates are off to one of the best starts in their programs history with a 40-6 record, including five wins in their last seven games. The games are part of the Southern Alliance Softball Association schedule, the winner of which receives a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“East Carolina is an excellent program, and I am glad they have joined the SASA,” said Madden. “We will treat this just like an ACC game, and my hope is that our team plays with the same mental toughness we had last week. It will be a tough weekend, but if we have the right mental approach, I think we will have good results.”
Tech continues to be led by senior catcher Anne Knobbe (Brea, Calif.), who is bidding for the ACC triple crown, leading the league in average (.422), hone runs (14) and RBI (44), but recently other Yellow Jackets have stepped into the spotlight. Sophomore rightfielder Kori Jacobson (Chandler, Ariz.), .378, 12 RBI, currently owns a season and career-high eight-game hitting streak after hitting .538 last week with four RBI. Senior Beth Warren (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), .329, 8 RBI, hit .364 last week, including a 3-for-7 performance at Florida State and has become the Jackets full-time starter at first base.
“I thought we had some great individual performances last week from players who we have not been able to look to as much this season,” said Madden. “If we continue to play well defensively and are able to have success with our pitching, then it should be a great week for us.”