Feb. 8, 2014
THE FLATS – Senior shortstop Ashley Thomas went 4-for-6 (.667) with two home runs as the Georgia Tech softball team (1-1) split a pair of games Saturday against the Missouri State Bears (1-1) in the Jackets’ first two games of 2014 and the first under head coach Shelly Hoerner. The Jackets won the season opener, 3-0, before falling, 6-3, in game two.
“The first game, Kylie Kleinschmidt pitched a great game for us,” Hoerner said. “We didn’t score until the end, but we kept fighting. I’m proud of the girls to do such a great job in coming up in clutch situations in the first game to produce runs.”
Ashley Thomas’ two home runs match her career total, while Alysha Rudnik also went yard for the Jackets in game two.
The series rubber match is set for Sunday at 11 a.m.
Game 1: Georgia Tech 3, Missouri State 0
Georgia Tech starting pitcher Kylie Kleinschmidt and Missouri State’s Chelsea Jones took a pitchers’ duel into the sixth inning.
Kleinschmidt (1-0) struck out the first four batters of the contest and kept that consistency throughout the game, pitching her first career complete-game shutout. She allowed four hits, one walk and fanned six batters.
The Bears had a chance to get on the board first in the top of the sixth frame. With the bases loaded and one out, Heather Duckworth stepped to the plate. Duckworth, who went 3-for-7 on the day, grounded into a double play as Chelsie Thomas scooped the ball up at third, fired home to Rudnik, who threw to first to complete the play and save the situation.
The Jackets scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the same inning. Ashley Thomas led things off and took the first pitch over the left field fence for her first bomb of the day.
Game 2: Missouri State 6, Georgia Tech 3
The Bears opened the game up it the third inning with four runs on four hits and one Tech error. The Jackets went to work in the bottom of the third as Ashley Thomas blasted her second home run to put Tech on the board.
Hayley Downs drew a walk to put herself in position for Rudnik, who stepped to the plate and went yard to left center, closing the Bears’ lead to one run, 4-3.
Missouri State tacked on one run in the fifth and an additional run in the sixth on a solo home run by Erin Duewel.
Tech had a chance to tie the game in the fourth inning with runners on second and third with no outs. Fullem walked and Katie Johnsky’s double moved pinch runner Kaitlin Kates to third, but the Jackets were retired in order, stranding the runners.
Freshman Kanani Cabrales (0-1) suffered the loss for Tech, allowing six runs, one earned, on 11 hits with four strikeouts.
Missouri State’s Erin Struemph (1-0) picked up the win, surrendering three hits, two walks and six strikeouts.