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Tech Rides Neleman’s Arm onto ACC Quarterfinals

PITTSBURGH – Georgia Tech softball (37-15, 11-13 ACC) bested NC State (33-23, 7-17 ACC) for the fourth time this season, downing the Wolfpack 4-2 on Wednesday at Vartabedian Field. The Yellow Jackets were propelled to victory by the arm of junior pitcher Blake Neleman, who dealt a career-high tying 13 strikeouts.

Neleman was dominant throughout, allowing just two hits and no earned runs along with her pileup of punchouts for her 10th complete game of the season. At the dish, multiple Jackets came through in key moments including sophomore shortstop Jin Sileo, senior second baseman Bailee Zeitler, senior outfielder Kennedy Cowden and junior catcher Emma Kauf. Sileo went 1-for-2 with an RBI double to jumpstart the Jackets while Kauf knocked the game-winning, two-RBI double. Zeitler and Cowden both went 2-for-3 with the former scoring a run and the latter driving her home.

In a back-and-forth affair, the Jackets got things started in the bottom of the second, jumping ahead 1-0. Zeitler first singled for Tech’s first hit of the tournament and was later driven home on a double to the gap in left center by Sileo.

The Wolfpack responded in the top of the third with a two-run shot, but the Yellow Jackets came right back in the bottom of the fourth. Georgia Tech used a flurry of singles from graduate first baseman Tricia Awald, Zeitler and Cowden to even things up.

An inning later, freshman center fielder Ella Edgmon got Tech going with a double off the top of the wall in left center. Following an error, Kauf stepped to the dish and laced another double for two RBI to push the Jackets ahead, 4-2. Neleman would take care of business in the circle from there, securing the victory in game one of the ACC tournament.

Game Notes

  • Georgia Tech has now won 21 of its last 27 games.
  • The White and Gold picked up a win in the ACC tournament for the third consecutive time. Prior to 2019, Tech hadn’t won an ACC tournament game since 2012.
  • Tech continues its best start since 2011 at 37-12 overall.
  • The White and Gold remain undefeated in the ACC spotlight, now 5-0 when appearing on ACC Network.
  • The Yellow Jackets have gone unbeaten for a 4-0 record against the Wolfpack on the season, sweeping the regular season series before the conference tournament victory.
  • Neleman moved to 14-8 on the year after tossing her 10th complete game of the season.
  • The highly-touted hurler tied her career high of 13 strikeouts, which she previously set in the season opener against Saint Joseph’s.
  • Neleman’s performance comes following her no-hitter against Syracuse in the ACC tournament opening round a season ago.
  • Kauf added yet another double as she remains second in program history in doubles through a season and is up to 23 on the year, leading the ACC and placing second in the NCAA.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will advance to face No. 2 seed Duke in the quarterfinals of the 2022 ACC Softball Championship on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Vartabedian Field in Pittsburgh. The game will be broadcast live on ACC Network.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.   

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