Marietta, Ga. (March 23) – The Georgia Tech softball team split its first two games on the opening day of the Buzz Classic March 23 at the Al Bishop Softball Complex in Marietta, Ga. The Yellow Jackets (16-11) extended their win streak to four games in the day’s first contest, by holding off a potential Tennessee-Martin (2-24) seventh-inning rally to claim a 3-0 victory. In the second game, the Jackets were unable to hold on to a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning, and fell to Illinois-Chicago (20-16) by a 4-3 count in eight innings.
Tech got on the board first in the day’s opening game by plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Jackets scored both runs without recording a hit in the frame. Junior Jamie Frost led off the opening inning by reaching base on an error. She then advanced to second when senior Ellen Styer reached base on a fielder’s choice, and Frost was safe at second. Freshman Tasha Waugh then reached on a two-base error by Skyhawk third baseman Amy Harclerode that allowed Frost to score and Styer to reach third. Styer then scored on an RBI groundout by Jennifer Biggers.
Martin starter Molly McKinney held the Yellow Jackets hitless until the fourth inning when senior Susanne Miller recorded a two-out single. Tech would get its second, and final, hit of the game in the fifth inning, as Frost led off the frame with a base hit. She then moved to third on an error by Skyhawk second baseman Beth Buttrey and scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by senior Erin Hawley.
The Skyhawks made things interesting in the top of the seventh inning, as Courtney Wilson led off the frame with a double to right field, and then moved to third on a single by Misty Miles that put runners on the corners with one out, and chased Tech starter Mimi Utt from the game. Miles was then called out on runner’s interference when Angela Baize reached base on a fielder’s choice. Jacket sophomore Tiffany
Goodman replaced Utt and allowed the Baize fielder’s choice before walking Buttrey to load the bases. Goodman then struck out Harclerode to end the threat and the game.
Utt (2-0) picked up her second win of the year as she went 6.1 innings without allowing a run and giving up just four hits. Goodman recorded the final two outs of the game to pick up her first save of the year. McKinney (0-10) took the loss for Tennessee-Martin as she went the distance without allowing an earned run and limiting Tech to just two hits.
In the second game, UIC got on the board in the top of the first inning when Jen Tiffany drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a two-base error by Tech second baseman Ellen Styer.
The Jackets, answered in the bottom of the frame, as Erin Hawley reached base on a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning, but was followed by freshman Tasha Waugh, who put the Tech on top 2-1 with her fourth home run of the year. Waugh took Flame starter Alycia Cresse’s 2-0 pitch over the center field fence for her fourth career homer and her team-leading 16th and 17th RBI of the year.
Neither team was able to scratch across a run for the next five innings as Cresse and Tech starter Erin Voeltz held the score at 2-1 until the top of the seventh inning. Illinois-Chicago struck in the top of the seventh, as Emily Stoddard scored on an RBI single by Emily Hallmann after reaching base on an error by Tech third baseman Jamie Frost to make the score 2-2.
Tech was unable to plate a run in the bottom of the frame and the game went to the international tiebreaker to determine the outcome. The Flames took a decisive 4-2 lead in the top of the eighth, as Stefanie Christoferson was placed on second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Christoferson then scored on a two-RBI home run by Amber Stachura to left field.
The Jackets were able to score one run in the bottom of the inning, as Frost scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to center field by Hawley for the final 4-3 margin.
Cresse (10-7) picked up the win, as she went the distance in allowing only three hits and the three runs, none of which were earned, along with a pair of strikeouts. Voeltz (7-7) took the loss as she allowed only one earned run and six hits, while striking out three. Tech’s defense did not help Voeltz, as it committed four errors in the contest.
Tech will return to action on Saturday at 11 a.m., by continuing pool play against Stetson.