Feb. 22, 2014
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech softball team (8-2) split a doubleheader against No. 21/22 Tulsa (12-2) Saturday afternoon at Mewborn Field as part of the GT-KSU Invitational, falling in game one, 11-3, before earning a 2-1 victory in game two.
“It was a disappointing loss in the first game,” head coach Shelly Hoerner said. “We beat ourselves in the first game and we talked about coming out with a different mentality in the second game. The defense was great in the second game. In that game, we showed the improvements that we have made; just spectacular plays by Chelsie Thomas and Hayley Downs.”
After dropping the first game, the Yellow Jackets buckled down defensively with three double plays in game two, which stifled Tulsa’s momentum.
The Jackets turned a classic 463 double play in the fourth inning as the Hurricane had a runner on first with one out. Chelsie Thomas turned the second of the plays as Tulsa had runners on first and second with one out. Chelsie Thomas knocked down a chopper at third, touched the base and fired over to first to get the batter in time.
Arguably the most impressive double play on the day was courtesy of centerfielder Hayley Downs. With her team up 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with no outs and a runner on first, Downs dove and caught a shallow pop up to center, then, from the ground, fired over to first base to get the runner, putting her team within one out of the victory.
Ashley Thomas sparked the scoring for the Jackets in game two with a leadoff home run in the first at bat of the contest; her fourth long ball of the season. She crossed the plate again for Tech’s second run on Alysha Rudnik’s single to center.
Ashley Thomas was 3-for-7 on the day with four runs, a double and home run.
Kylie Kleinschmidt (6-0) earned the victory, scattering three hits and allowing just one run in a complete-game effort.
Caitlin Sill (3-2) suffered the loss with five hits, two runs and one walk in four innings pitched.
In game one, the Hurricane put up a four spot in the opening frame and never looked back. Tulsa tacked on four additional runs on a pair of two-run homers in the fourth then sixth innings. The Hurricane added three runs in the seventh to seal the deal.
Karly Fullem came to the plate and took an Aimee Creger offering to deep right center, driving in two runs. A sacrifice fly from Katie Johnsky scored Ashley Thomas in the seventh for Tech’s third run.
Freshman Kanani Cabrales (2-2) suffered the loss with 11 runs, seven earned, on 10 hits in a complete game effort.
Tulsa’s Aimee Creger (5-0) picked up the victory, surrendering three runs on seven hits with four walks.
The Jackets are back in action Sunday in their last two games of the GT-KSU Invite. Tech takes on Stony Brook at 12 p.m. and Georgia State at 2 p.m.