March 26, 2009
ATLANTA – Senior Tiffany Johnson pitched a one-hit shutout and tied a season high of 12 strikeouts as the Georgia Tech softball team (24-8) swept a doubleheader from Georgia State (13-13) Thursday evening at Mewborn Field, 8-0 and 6-0. Johnson, who is now 9-1, also went 3-for-6 at the plate with two home runs and five RBI. Sophomore Kristen Adkins (12-4) pitched a two-hit shutout in game one and had a three-run home run and four total RBI on the day as well.
Senior Whitney Haller went 4-for-5, while freshman Kelsi Weseman was 3-for-7 with a home run and three RBI. Freshman Jessica Sinclair added two hits including a double and classmate Kate Kuzma had the fifth Yellow Jacket home run.
In game one, both teams had chances to score quickly. In the top of the first inning, Georgia State loaded the bases with one out, but sophomore pitcher Kristen Adkins was able to get a strikeout and a ground to end the threat. Then, in the bottom of the first inning the Yellow Jackets had runners on second and third with two outs but Panthers pitcher Madi Gore got senior Tiffany Johnson to ground out and end the inning.
The Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when freshman Kate Kuzma hit a line drive home run over the fence in left-center field. Tech had a chance to add to the lead, but left two more runners on later in the inning.
Georgia Tech added to its lead with three more runs in the third inning to open up a 4-0 lead. Freshman Kelsi Weseman led off with a solo home run to left-center field, her third round-tripper of the season. Back-to-back doubled by senior Whitney Haller and Johnson made it 3-0 and then later in the inning an Adkins sacrifice fly accounted for the fourth Yellow Jacket run.
Tech broke the game open with four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning against Georgia State relief pitcher Alana Thomas. With two outs, Weseman delivered a RBI single to center field that plated Jen Yee who had doubled. After a Haller single, her third hit of the game, Johnson made it 8-0 with a three-run home run to dead center field. For Johnson, it was her team-high ninth home run of the season.
After that first inning, Adkins was on cruise control for the rest of the game and secured her second solo shutout of the season and improved to 12-4. Adkins scattered two hits, walked two and struck out four. Gore (6-6) took the loss for the Panthers as she was charged with four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. She struck out one batter. In relief, Thomas gave up four runs, all earned, on four hits.
In game two, The Yellow Jackets scored twice in the first inning. Georgia State starter Kate Gaskill walked the first two batters she faced in senior Blair Shimandle and Yee and that was the end of the day for her. Erin Collins came in and allowed a RBI single to Weseman and then Yee scored the second run of the inning on an error. Weseman stole second base, but the throw by Georgia State catcher Emily Althafer went into center field allowing Yee to cross the plate.
The Jackets made it a 5-0 game in the third when Adkins hit a three-run home run to center. It was her fifth home run of the season. Yee, who had walked and Haller who singled earlier in the inning scored ahead of Adkins. Johnson then made it a 6-0 game in the fifth when she hit a line-drive solo home run that just got over the fence in left field. It was her second round-tripper of the day and number 10 on the season.
In the circle, meanwhile, Johnson gave up a leadoff bloop bunt single to Cassie Boese and then set the next 15 batters in a row before hitting Elizabeth Thomas with the first pitch of the sixth inning. She allowed another base runner in the seventh when Natasha Berry reached on a wild pitch after a strikeout.
Johnson faced just two batters over the minimum for her one-hit shutout. She did not walk a batter and tied a season-high with 12 strikeouts.
This weekend, the Yellow Jackets will host Florida State in a big ACC series. Saturday is Stadium Celebration Day and the first 200 fans will receive a commemorative Mewborn Field t-shirt. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and first pitch of game one is set for 1 p.m. There will be free popcorn for all fans and free pizza for students. Beyond the right field fence, there will be games for the kids and special promotions and give-a-ways throughout the day for all fans. Make sure to arrive early and bring the whole family for a fun-filled day this Saturday. The Yellow Jackets and Seminoles will then wrap up the series with a single game 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 for a small fee.