Sept. 20, 2004
ATLANTA – Sophomore Sarah Wood connected on her first collegiate home run and fired five shutout innings to lead the Yellow Jackets past Young Harris C.C., 5-0, this Saturday afternoon at Glenn Field. Tech improves to 2-0 this fall.
“First, I think it is important to say that although score is being kept, it is far from reality,” said Earleywine. “My goal for these games is to try different lineups and put players at different positions. I may steal when I wouldn’t ordinarily steal, and swing away when I would normally bunt. My decisions have nothing to do with the score and everything to do with learning my players strengths and weaknesses. By the spring, the best nine players will emerge and we’ll begin to play for keeps.
“This Saturday, one of the bright spots to me was that Katie Donovan played a stellar third base. She’s a team player all the way and is willing to do whatever it takes to help us win games. She is already a polished second baseman, but third base may be our best lineup. Obviously, I dont know that for sure, but it was nice to see her versatility and willingness to make the switch. I’d take nine players just like her anytime.
“I was also impressed with Stephanie Butler. She made a couple of adjustments with her slapping mechanics and got a couple of hits as a result of it. I like her coachability and she really seems to understand the importance of detail when she works on her game.
“Sarah Wood also played well on offense as she pulled a home run and then went the other way for a base hit in a later at bat. If she contnues to swing the bat like that, I wont have any choice but to play her everyday. Thats a good choice to have to make.
“Whitney Humphreys showed considerable improvement on the mound and I was proud of her for regrouping after a tough outing last week. She needs to embrace pitching and not throwing. With average velocity, she must committ to hitting spots and changing speeds. I liked what I saw on Saturday and hope to see her steadily improve throughout this year.
“Jessica Sallinger is simply overpowering and a true professional. Her approach is intense and she’s a fierce competitor. It would be easy for her to hit cruise control during these fall games, but she doesnt. She is always trying to find a way to win and get hitters out. She has been all but unhittable this fall.
“Our team has so much to learn. Right now its a fire drill in terms of defensive communication and offensive execution. They work hard and will achieve these things in time, but its a process and its still very early.”