April 9, 2008
ATLANTA – A two-run single by freshman Jessica Weaver and a RBI double from freshman Amanda Crow in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Georgia Tech Softball Team (19-26) a come-from-behind 4-3 win in game two and a doubleheader sweep of #17/19 Georgia (35-13) before an overflow crowd at Glenn Field. Behind a four-run fifth inning, the Jackets won game one 6-4. This marks the second straight sweep for Georgia Tech over Georgia and the Jackets have now won six of the last seven games in the series and 16 straight non-conference home games.
“This was a huge day for us,” head coach Sharon Perkins said. “I am especially proud of how they stuck with the plan in game two and were able to fight back. We played well in all three phases of the game today and now need to build on this momentum for a big conference weekend.”
The Yellow Jackets grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one. Senior Aileen Morales led off the frame with a double off the left field fence. After moving to third base on a wild pitch by Georgia pitcher Taylor Schlopy, she scored when junior Whitney Haller grounded out to first base.
The game quickly moved to the fourth inning where the Bulldogs scored a run with the aid of a Tech error. Alisa Goler led off with a single up the middle. After being bunted over to second base by Melissa Wood, Megan Wiggins came up and hit a chopper up the middle that was booted by Tech freshman second baseman Amanda Crow. Goler never hesitated around third base and easily scored the tying run. Humphreys came back to record the next two outs and keep the game tied at one.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Georgia Tech came right back to re-take the lead. Junior Blair Shimandle got it going with a single through the left side. She was then able to move up to third base when senior Savannah Brown lined a single into right-centerfield. Senior Brittany Barnes followed with a pop-up to the right side that was mis-played by Georgia second baseman Kristin Schnake. It never touched her glove and just fell into fair territory allowing Shimandle to score the go-ahead run. The Jackets still had two on with one out, but Schlopy was able to get out of the jam.
The Bulldogs came right back to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning on a two-out RBI single by Sojourner Moody. Later in the inning, Georgia had runners at second and third with two outs, but Humphreys escaped the jam by inducing a fly out to centerfield.
The Yellow Jackets responded in a big way with four runs on four hits in the bottom of the fifth inning. Senior Stephanie Butler got it started with a single off the third baseman’s glove that ricocheted into centerfield. An infield single by freshman Christy Jones then gave the Jackets runners on first and second with one out. Morales gave Tech the lead again when she singled up the middle driving home Butler with the go-ahead run. The throw came home and Morales was able to move up to second base which turned out to be a big play for the Jackets. Haller came up and hit a rocket that glanced off the third baseman’s glove and went into foul territory down the left-field line. When the dust settled, Haller was standing at second base with a two-run double. Later in the inning, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brown plated sophomore pinch runner Kelly Eppinger making the score 6-2 Jackets.
Defense highlighted the top of the sixth inning as Georgia was held scoreless thanks to a highlight-reel catch by Jones in left field. With a runner on first base and one out, UGA pinch hitter Jennie Auger hit a line drive headed for the gap in left-centerfield, but Jones came out of nowhere to make a diving catch. She made the grab diving towards centerfield with her body completely parallel to the ground.
Tech was held off the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning so Humphreys came back out for the top of the seventh and a 6-2 lead. Humphreys did give up a two-out, two-run home run to Alisa Goler in the seventh inning but that was it as the Jackets held on for the upset.
Humphreys (9-13) picked up the complete-game victory as she gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits and no walks. She had one strikeout. Schlopy (0-2) was charged with six earned runs on nine hits and no walks. She had four strikeouts.
Game two was scoreless until Georgia pushed across a pair of two out runs against Humphreys who earned the start in the night cap as well. RBI singles off the bats of Megan Wiggins and Goler accounted for the scoring. The Bulldogs still had runners at first and third with two outs when Humphreys got a big strikeout of Auger to end the inning and keep it at just a two-run deficit.
The Yellow Jackets got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third inning. Jones led off with an infield single, Tech’s first hit of the game. She stole second base and after Morales drew a four-pitch walk, the Yellow Jackets had two on with just one out. Georgia pitcher Kate Gaskill got a big strikeout of Haller, but Shimandle came up with the clutch hit as she singled into left field. Jones scored the Jacket’s first run of the game and Morales moved up to third. With Brown at the plate, Shimandle stole second base putting two runners in scoring position, but Gaskill got a hard ground ball to third base to get out of the inning.
In the top of the fourth, UGA scored once against new Tech pitcher Emily Schreck but it could have been worse. With runners at second and third and just one out, Victoria Sanders hit a ground ball to shortstop. Morales fielded and threw home. Tech catcher Savannah Brown had the plate blocked and applied the tag for the inning’s second out. Taylor Schlopy followed, however, with a RBI single up the middle putting the Bulldogs up 3-1.
Both pitchers got through the next two innings and the game quickly moved to the sixth and Georgia hanging onto its 3-1 advantage.
After another good half inning by Schreck, the Jackets’ bats came to life in the bottom of the sixth inning. Three runs came across the plate and it was 4-3 Jackets heading to the seventh. Brown got it going with a one-out walk and then Barnes hit a rocket to the left side that got by UGA third baseman Alisa Goler. Barnes was able to make it to second base and Brown scampered up to third.
Freshman Jessica Weaver followed with an epic at bat that resulted in nine pitches and finally a game-tying, two-run single up the middle. When the throw went through to the plate, Weaver was able to take second base. Freshman Amanda Crow then came up with the biggest hit of her young career. She lined the first pitch she saw from Gaskill into the gap in left-centerfield driving home freshman pinch hitter Amelia Beach with the eventual winning run.
Georgia threatened with two on and just one out in the top of the seventh inning, but Schreck induced a game-ending, 4-6-3 double play to complete the sweep.
Schreck (5-3) picked up the win in relief as she held the Bulldogs to one unearned run on three hits in four innings of relief. She walked two batters. Humphreys started and was charged for two earned runs on five hits and no walks. She had two strikeouts. Gaskill (14-5) took the loss for Georgia as she yielded four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits and three walks. She had six strikeouts.
Georgia Tech will travel to Florida State this weekend for its third straight Atlantic Coast Conference road series. The Yellow Jackets and Seminoles will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 12 and a single game on Sunday, April 13. Both games will begin at Noon and game one on Saturday will televised live on Sun Sports in Florida. Yellow Jacket fans can watch the game on Direct TV (ch. 632) or Dish Network (ch. 422). In addition, the game will be shown on Fox College Sports Pacific. That channel can be found on the sports tier of Comcast Cable (ch. 292 in Atlanta) or Charter (ch. 303).