ATLANTA (March 9) – The Georgia Tech softball team was finally able to break through in a close game and split its two games on the second day of play at the Speedline Invitational March 9. The four-day event is being hosted by the University of South Florida at both USF field and the Greco Softball Complex. The Yellow Jackets found themselves in extra innings again on the dayÆs opening game, as Tech rallied to tie the game late before falling to Penn State by a 9-8 score in eight innings. In the final game of the day, the Jackets fell behind early, but came back to claim a 4-2 win over Tennessee Tech.
In the day’s first game, Penn State built an early 5-0 lead as it touched Tech starter Mimi Utt for three runs in the bottom of the first inning and one in both the third and fourth innings. In the first, the Nittany Lions recorded four hits, including RBI singles by Megan Humphrey and Barbie Pierce that scored Allison Medellin and Humphrey respectively. Jen Tripken scored the third run in the frame on a fielder’s choice. Kelley Gallagher’s RBI triple in the third inning plated Humphrey who had reached base on a double, and Medellin’s RBI double scored Karen Gulini who singled and stole second in the fourth.
The Jackets got on the board for the first time in the fifth inning with a pair of runs to cut the lead to 5-2 on RBI singles by seniors Ellen Styer and Suzanne Miller that scored freshmen Erin Glantz and Soraya Reddick. Glantz reached base on a single and Reddick got on via a Lion error. Tech added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, as freshman Tara Knudsen scored on a Penn State error that allowed Glantz to reach base, and senior Erin Hawley crossed the plate on a second error that allowed Jennifer Biggers to reach base. Glantz was cut down at the plate on the play to end the rally.
The Lions answered back in the bottom of the inning, as Jackie Dabrowski scored as a pinch runner for Erica Greenberg, when she was able to steal home. Adrienne Manzo gave Penn State a 7-4 lead when she scored on a Tech error that followed a single by Medellin.
Tech evened things up in the top of the seventh inning with a three-run rally that was started by a leadoff home run by Styer to make the score 7-5. The Jackets then loaded the bases and Sara Wissmann scored on an RBI single by Glantz and Jamie Frost crossed the plate on a bases-loaded walk by Reddick.
In the extra frame, Tech took an 8-7 lead as Biggers scored on a groundout by Miller after being advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Styer.
Penn State closed out the game as Manzo scored from second on a Tech error that allowed Karen Gulini to reach base. Gulini later scored on an RBI single by Tripken that found its way over the drawn in Jacket outfield for the final 9-8 score.
Marisa Hanson (3-3) earned the win for the Lions in relief of Kelly McCann, as she worked two innings and allowed four runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits and two walks. Freshman Erin Voeltz (5-5) took the loss for Tech as she relieved Utt and tossed the final 3.1 innings, allowing four runs, one of which was earned, and five hits.
In the day’s second game, freshman Soraya Reddick was the offensive standout, as she drove in all four of the Yellow Jackets runs in a 4-2 victory over Tennessee Tech. Reddick finished the game 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and her first career home run.
Tennessee Tech got out to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the first two innings. In the first, Stephanie Dallmann reached base on an error and later scored on an RBI double by Adrienne Fortmann. In the second inning, Holly Speiser led off the inning with a single, and later scored on an RBI single by Dallmann.
After the first two innings, Tennessee Tech had only four base runners, only two of which reached second base as the Yellow Jacket defense and pitcher Tiffany Goodman closed the door as Tech’s offense got on track.
The Jackets knotted the score at two apiece in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Jennifer Biggers reached base on a fielder’s choice, and scored when Reddick cleared the center field fence with her first homer as a Yellow Jacket. Tech then took a decisive 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Ellen Styer led off the inning with a single and Erin Glantz reached base on a Tennessee Tech error before the pair was advanced by a sacrifice bunt by Biggers and scored on a two-RBI single by Reddick.
Goodman (6-4) earned the win as she went the distance allowing no earned runs, scattering eight hits and striking out two. Fortmann took the loss as she also turned in a complete game, allowing four runs, three of which were earned, and eight hits.
The Yellow Jackets will conclude pool play tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., with a matchup against fifth-ranked Stanford at the Greco Softball Complex.