March 6, 2008
ATLANTA – Senior Aileen Morales, junior Whitney Haller and freshman Jessica Weaver each hit a home run as the Georgia Tech Softball Team (7-14, 1-2 ACC) defeated Virginia (6-12, 2-1) 6-3 Thursday afternoon at Glenn Field in the final game of their three-game series. Junior Tiffany Johnson got the win as she pitched the first 5.1 innings and gave up three runs, while senior Whitney Humphreys earned her first save for pitching 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Virginia struck first for the third time in the series. Carly Winger singled up the middle with one out, the first of the game of Tech junior pitcher Tiffany Johnson, and came around to score when Sarah Tacke doubled off the fence in right-centerfield. Johnson retired the final two batters of the inning, however, to minimize the damage.
The Tech offense came to life in the bottom of the third inning. Freshman Christy Jones reached on an error with one out and then advanced to third base when senior Stephanie Butler hit a perfectly placed single into right field. Senior Aileen Morales then hit the first pitch she saw over the fence in left-centerfield for a three-run home run. For Morales, it was her first round-tripper of the season and also knocked Virginia starting pitcher Karla Wilburn from the game, Whitney Holstum retired the final two Yellow Jacket batters in the inning, but Tech had its first lead of the series, 3-1 heading to the fourth inning.
In the fifth, the Jackets added to their lead. Morales got it started with a one-out single and then stole second base. After she went to third on a ground out by junior Blair Shimandle, she came around to score when junior Whitney Haller crushed a 2-0 pitch over the fence in leftfield for a two-run home run. It was her second home run of the season and brought in the third Virginia pitcher of the game. Allison Rife came in and got senior Savannah Brown to fly out to center, but Tech now had a 5-1 advantage heading to the sixth inning.
Virginia would not go away quietly. Back-to-back one-out singles by Lindsey Preuss and Kelly Haller followed by a four-pitch walk to Winger loaded the bases for Sarah Tacke. Johnson hit Tacke with her first pitch forcing in a run and that was the last batter she faced.
Senior Whitney Humphreys came in and gave up a RBI single to Abby Snyder, but retired the next two batters to preserve Tech’s 5-3 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Jackets got one of the runs back. With one out, freshman Jessica Weaver hit a solo home run to left field, her fourth of the season.
Humphreys pitched a 1-2-3 inning to earn her first save of the season and secure Tech’s first league win of the year. She gave up a hit in 1.2 innings with two strikeouts. Johnson (3-4) got the win as she allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. She fanned two.
The Yellow Jackets will now host the Buzz Classic this weekend at the Twin Creeks Softball Complex in Woodstock, Ga. Georgia Tech will play Mercer (3:30 p.m.) and Elon (5:30 p.m.) on Friday and Minnesota (1:00 p.m.) and Western Michigan (3:30 p.m.) on Saturday in pool play. Bracket play takes place on Sunday. Live stats for every Tech game this season is available via Gametracker at www.ramblinwreck.com.