May 17, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Catcher Lindsay Wood drove in three runs, and the Georgia Tech softball team (51-16) posted a four-run first inning en route to a 7-0 win over host Florida State in NCAA Regional action at the Seminole Softball Complex. With the victory, Tech now faces the winner of tonight’s Florida Atlantic-Chattanooga meeting at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
The seven-run deficit equalled the largest margin of defeat for the Noles in 97 games. FSU lost to Southern Miss, 9-0, during the 2000 season.
The Jackets jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, chasing FSU starter Jessica van der Linden from the game without recording a single out in the first inning. Second baseman Felicia Coursey walked and moved to third on a double to center by first baseman Katie Donovan. An intentional pass to shortstop Tara Knudsen loaded the bases for Wood, who singled to left to score Coursey.
Third baseman Jamie Frost and right fielder Soraya Reddick both reached on fielder’s choices, as the Seminoles made a pair of errors, allowing both Donovan and Knudsen to score. At this point, FSU ace Leslie Malerich entered and retired two before left fielder Tara Neff drove in the final run of the frame with a single over the left side of infield.
Tech extended the lead to 7-0 in the fourth, with three more unearned runs. Neff started the rally, as she reached first on a dropped ball by first baseman Beth Wade. Coursey then drew her second walk of the game. With two outs, Knudsen ripped a double down the left field line to score Neff. Wood then laced her ACC-record 26th double to right center, clearing the bases and scoring two.
Tech starter Jessica Sallinger went five innings, allowing just two hits and no runs. She fanned six. With her ninth consecutive win, she improves to 27-7 on the season. When sophomore Erin Voeltz entered to start the sixth, it snapped a streak of 38 consecutive postseason innings tossed by Sallinger. Over that stretch, she went 5-0, allowed just two earned runs and struck out 48. She also posted a 0.37 earned run average throughout this span.
Voeltz allowed no runs on one hit in two innings of relief.
At the plate, Donovan went 3-for-4 to lead the Jackets. Wood and Neff also added two hits apiece.
Van der Linden took the loss for the Seminoles, falling to 16-6. She allowed four runs without recording an out. Tech has now won five in a row in Tallahassee, including two consecutive shutouts of Florida State. The Jackets have also won four games in a row over teams ranked in the NFCA Top 25, dating back to a victory over No. 25 Georgia on April 28.
This contest was the first-ever meeting between Atlantic Coast Conference teams in NCAA play.