ATLANTA (March 20) – The Georgia Tech (15-16) softball team hosts seven games this week, highlighted by their Atlantic Coast Conference opener against Maryland and the annual 25-team Buzz Classic. Tech takes on the Terrapins (12-13) in a doubleheader Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Glenn Field, followed a non-conference game against Connecticut (9-7) Wednesday at 4 p.m. The annual Buzz Classic is Friday through Sunday at the Al Bishop Softball Complex in Marietta, Ga.
The Yellow Jackets, coming off a doubleheader sweep of Samford last Saturday, are led by hot-hitting catcher Anne Knobbe (Brea, Calif.), who belted four home runs last week. She leads the conference in batting with a .485 average and home runs with 12.
“It has been amazing the way Anne has played for us this season,” said head coach Kate Madden. “I had a feeling with her being a senior that she would play well, but she so has been determined in every phase of her game, and every time that we play.”
Georgia Tech will also be welcoming back senior first baseman Beth Warren (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) who has been out with a broken bone in her wrist since February 28. She will see limited action this week as a designated hitter. She is batting .349 average with one home run and eight RBI in 13 starts before her injury.
The game against the Terrapins is the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southern Atlantic Alliance Conference opener for both schools. Maryland leads the series, 10-3, including three victories over the Jackets last season.
“With only ten games scheduled in the SAAC and ACC portion of our schedule, it is very important for us to come out with a strong showing against Maryland,” said Madden. “Maryland is a good team that is fundamentally sound, so we will have to play well to beat them.”
On Wednesday, the Yellow Jackets will face the Huskies for the first time. Connecticut, led by Jessica Yanosy with a .333 average, will also compete in the Buzz Classic later in the week.
“Connecticut is a solid program so it will be good for us to play tough competition before we enter the Buzz Classic,” said Madden.
Over the weekend, Tech will host the eighth annual Holiday Inn Buzz Classic. The 25-team tournament features teams from across the nation, including North Carolina, Southwest Missouri State, Illinois-Chicago and last year’s runner-up, Maryland.
“This is a huge tournament for us, especially since its the one tournament a year that we host,” said Madden. “There are a number of good teams in this year’s tournament and I expect it to be an exciting event.”
Tech will face Marshall (5-12) in the opening round of pool play at 3 p.m. Friday, followed by an 8 p.m. contest against the College of Charleston (12-10). On Saturday the Jackets meet Florida A&M at 12:30 p.m. and then complete pool play against Tennessee Tech at 5:30 p.m.
The 25 teams will then be seeded for a 12-team single-elimination bracket beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday night, with the quarterfinals scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday, followed by semifinals at 11 a.m. and finals at 1 p.m. Tickets for the event are $5 for adults and $3 for students.