Feb. 7, 2014
|Georgia Tech Softball|
|Game 1||Tech vs. Missouri State, Saturday, Feb. 8 – 12 p.m.|
|Game 2||Tech vs. Missouri State, Saturday, Feb. 8 – 2 p.m.|
|Game 3||Tech vs. Missouri State, Saturday, Feb. 9 – 11 a.m.|
|Live Stats||Saturday (1) | Saturday (2) | Sunday|
|Game Notes||GT vs. Missouri State Game Notes|
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech softball team opens its 2014 campaign when it welcomes Missouri State to Mewborn Field for a three-game series beginning Saturday with a two games scheduled for 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday’s series finale is slated to begin at 11 a.m. Fans can follow the action this weekend via Gametracker.
Key Parking Information
Fans planning to attend Saturday’s 12 p.m. game against Missouri State should be advised parking will be limited due to the men’s basketball game scheduled for the same start time.
Softball fans can park in the Centergy lot for $10 or the Upper Peters Parking deck and W23 lot for $12. Those areas are highlighted on the map below. Staff with a Peters Parking pass should park in the Peters Parking deck.
The McCamish Lot, 8th Street, O’Keefe Lot and Fowler Street between 10th and 8th Streets are pre-sold to men’s basketball patrons.
Parking is free for Sunday’s softball game at 11 a.m. in the McCamish Lot.
Head coach Shelly Hoerner enters her first season at the helm of the Georgia Tech program, which returns eight starters, including 2013 ACC Player of the Year Ashley Thomas and first-team All-ACC selection Alysha Rudnik. Tech lost All-American pitcher Hope Rush, but returns three pitchers to the circle and adds freshman Kanani Cabrales to the rotation.
Hoerner will have a lot of options on defense as Tech returns every position player in 2014. First base will be anchored by junior Karly Fullem, when she is not pitching. Fullem played in 49 games last season, making six starts in the circle. She hit .247 with eight doubles, and owned a team-best .993 fielding percentage with 260 putouts.
Second base will see competition between junior Chelsie Thomas, who started at second for the last two years, and sophomore Maddie Lionberger. Chelsie Thomas will also play at third when not playing second.
Ashley Thomas has shortstop on lock, making all 55 starts in that position last season. The 2013 ACC Player of the Year, Ashley Thomas hit a league best .417 last season with 57 runs, 75 hits and 37 stolen bases.
Rudnik will start behind the plate, who batted .399 last season with a .676 slugging percentage, 59 hits and 49 RBI. Junior Caitlyn Coffey will also spend time behind the plate.
In the outfield, Hoerner has several options. Senior Hayley Downs and junior Katie Johnsky were the starters last season in center and right fields, respectively. With sophomore Morgan Taylor, senior Kaitlin Kates and freshmen Samantha Pierannunzi and Colleen Darragh, the Jackets outfield is slated to be solid.
In the circle, junior Kylie Kleinschimdt and freshman Kanani Cabrales are slated to shoulder the majority of the pitching with Fullem coming in to close a few games.
The Bears have three all-conference selections from last year returning, led by second baseman Ashley Brentz, who became the first MSU player to repeat as a first teamer in a decade. Heather Duckworth and Mary Stephens were second-team All-MVC picks last year.
Last season, Missouri State put up some of the best offensive numbers in school history. The team batting average of .284, the 396 hits, 227 runs scored and 28 home runs all were top- 5 single season stats. This year, the Bears look to replace four starting seniors in the lineup and solidify the pitching staff.
Missouri State has six seniors on the 2014 squad including Brentz, Duckworth, Stacia Boeckstiegel and Kerri Cunningham, all expected to be starters. The Bears have five freshmen joining the team that will provide depth.