April 12, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Georgia Tech Softball Team (20-27, 3-10 ACC) scored five unanswered runs to eliminate a 2-0 deficit and defeat Florida State (32-18, 8-6) in game one of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at JoAnne Graf Field. The game featured a one-hour and 42 minute rain delay in the middle of a three-run Yellow Jacket second inning. Senior Brittany Barnes hit her team-high eighth home run on the season before the delay and then a two-run triple by senior Aileen Morales after the delay proved to be the game-winner. Senior Whitney Humphreys (10-13) moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time Tech wins list with the victory, her 59th.
In game two, Florida State scored seven runs off freshman Emily Schreck in the first two innings en route to a 10-2 win in five innings to earn the split of the doubleheader. Junior Whitney Haller made her first appearance in the circle in two years as she relieved Schreck in the second inning. With the nearly two hour rain delay in game one today, at least one game from every ACC series this year has been altered by weather.
In game one, Florida State struck first for a pair of runs in the first inning. With runners on first and second and one out, the Seminoles attempted a successful double-steal, but when freshman Jessica Weaver’s throw went into left field, Whitney Buckmon was able to score the game’s first run. A RBI triple by Jessica Gilmore later in the inning made the score 2-0. Senior Whitney Humphreys was able to retire the next two batters, however, and get out of the jam.
In the top of the second inning, Georgia Tech got one of the runs back and had two on with one out when the rains came. With one out, senior Brittany Barnes crushed a solo home run to dead centerfield, her team-high eighth of the season, getting the Jackets on the board. With freshman Jessica Weaver at the plate, heavy rain began to fall. Play continued and it was not until FSU pitcher Tiffany McDonald had hit Weaver and freshman Amanda Crow that the umpires called play. By then the damage had been done and it was raining so hard that the grounds crew could not completely cover the infield with the tarp.
Play finally resumed after an hour and 42 minute rain delay and it was worth the wait for the Yellow Jackets. A ground out by senior Stephanie Butler moved both base runners over and then senior Aileen Morales drove them both home with a triple over the head of FSU right fielder Monica Montez. Freshman Christy Jones struck out to end the inning, but it was now 3-2 Tech after an inning and a half.
Whitney Buckmon led off the Florida State half of the third inning with a single, but was quickly erased on a strike out, throw double play with Brittany Osmon at the plate. Then in the fourth inning, Humphreys got a little wild but quickly got control again and was able to get out of the inning. With one out, she walked both Robin Ahrberg and Monica Montez but got the next two batters on a couple of infield pop-ups so the game moved onto the fifth inning and the Yellow Jackets clinging to their 3-2 lead.
Georgia Tech added two runs to its lead in a wild top of the fifth inning opening up a 5-2 lead. Morales led off the frame by reaching on one of three Seminole errors, but was quickly erased trying to steal second base. It marked just the second time this season in 35 attempts that Morales has been thrown out. Jones reached on an infield single and stole second base giving Tech a runner in scoring position and just one out. After a walk by Brown, junior Blair Shimandle reached on catcher’s interference loading the bases. Junior Whitney Haller then hit a sharp ground ball to third base. Michelle Snyder threw home for the force play at the plate, but when the catcher Gilmore tried to complete the double-play at first she threw the ball into right field. Brown scored and Shimandle was able to get all the way to third base. Consecutive walks by McDonald to Barnes and Weaver forced in another run, but Crow fouled out to end the long and wacky inning.
Humphreys flirted with disaster again in the bottom of the fifth, but was able to escape a first and second, nobody out jam by getting a ground out and two more pop-ups.
After throwing 121 pitches in just five innings, the Seminoles went to the bullpen for the Georgia Tech sixth inning. New pitcher Melissa May came in and easily got the first two outs but back-to-back walks by Jones and Brown followed by an infield single from Shimandle loaded the bases again. Haller came up and made a bid to break the game open as she sent a smash to the gap in left-centerfield, but FSU centerfielder Carly Wynn was able to track it down a step in front of the fence.
Humphreys (10-13) worked around a two-out single to retire the Seminoles in the seventh inning and secure Tech’s first ACC road win of the season. She allowed two earned runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out two. The win was also the 59th of her career moving her into solo possession of second place ion the all-time Georgia Tech charts. McDonald (13-7) took the loss for Florida State as she gave up five runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks. She recorded two strikeouts. May gave up one hit and two walks in two scoreless innings of relief.
In game two, Florida State scored three runs off freshman Emily Schreck in the bottom of the first inning but it could have been a lot worse. The Seminoles had three runs home on five hits and still had the bases loaded with nobody out, but Schreck got a force play at home and inning-ending 4-6-3 double-play. Still, the Jackets had work to do, down 3-0 heading to the second inning.
Three more runs by Florida State in the second inning knocked Schreck out of the game. Whitney Haller made her first appearance in the circle since her freshman year. She gave up one run in the second and then three in the third making it 10-0 FSU after three innings of play.
The Yellow Jackets got on the board with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Jones and Brown each reached on infield singles and came around to score later in the inning. Haller had a RBI ground out driving home Jones and then Brown scored on a passed ball.
Georgia Tech and Florida State close out its three-game series tomorrow at Noon. Live stats will be available via Gametracker at www.ramblnwreck.com.