ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech softball team was unable to rally in either game and dropped a doubleheader to Mississippi State on Thursday afternoon at Glenn Field. In the day’s first game, Tech could not hold a 1-0 lead and fell by a 3-2 score, and in the second game, three unearned runs in the top of the tenth inning sent the Jackets to a 4-1 extra-inning defeat.
In the day’s first game, the Yellow Jackets got on the board first with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. Tech’s Jamie Frost and Erin Hawley recorded one-out singles and the bases were loaded when Soraya Reddick drew a two-out walk. Senior Ellen Styer followed Reddick with a single to left field that plated Frost to give Tech a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs evened things in the top of the second inning, as Anna Joyce Lott and Kate Jaspers recorded back-to-back one-out singles to follow Lindsay Nelson, who reached base on a fielder’s choice, to load the bases. Jennifer Jessup then flew out to score Nelson and knot the score at 1-1.
Mississippi State took the lead again in the top of the fifth inning as Kellie Wilkerson led off the inning with a double to left field and then stole third. After Iyhia McMichael gounded out, Wilkerson scored when Jennifer Waterman single to left field to make the score 2-1.
Tech evened things again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Erin Hawley led off the frame with a double to right-center field, and moved to third on a groundout by Tara Knudsen. That play chased Mississippi State starter Jennifer Pursell in favor of Wilkerson. Reddick immediately grounded out to plate Hawley and make the score 2-2.
The Bulldogs took the lead for good in the top of the seventh inning as Jennifer Nelson led off the inning with a single to left field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McMichael. Kasey Whitehead doubled to score Nelson, and was thrown out at third base trying to leg out a triple, making the score 3-2.
Wilkerson (7-0) earned the win in relief as she tossed 1.2 hitless innings and struck out one. Tech’s Erin Voeltz (11-14) was saddled with the loss in relief of Tiffany Goodman as she went 1.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits.
In the day’s second game, Mississippi State drew first blood, as they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, as Kellie Wilkerson recorded a one-out double and moved to third on a wild pitch by Voeltz. Wilkerson scored one batter later when Jennifer Nelson reached base on a fielder’s choice.
The Yellow Jackets tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning as Kori Jacobson reached base on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jamie Frost. Erin Hawley followed one batter later with a triple that plated Frost and made the score 1-1.
After that, Voeltz and Bulldog starter Whitehead held their respective opposition scoreless, with Voeltz escaping the both the top of the eighth and ninth in the international tiebreaker without allowing a run. Whitehead also held the Jackets scoreless in their half of the eighth and ninth innings.
In the tenth, after Kate Jaspers was placed on second, Jennifer Jessup advanced her with a bunt single and Tech intentionally walked Wilkerson to load the bases. During Iyhia McMichael’s at bat with one out in the inning, Tech first baseman Hawley dropped a foul ball, and McMichael later doubled to left center to clear the bases and give the Bulldogs a 4-1 lead. All of the runs were unearned due to the error.
Tech was unable to plate a run in its half of the tenth inning.
Wilkerson (8-0) picked up her second win in as many games as she threw 1.2 innings of relief and did not allow a run or a hit while striking out one. Voeltz (11-15) took the loss as she went the distance, allowing four runs, only one of which was earned on eight hits, while retiring three via strikeouts.
Georgia Tech will return to action on April 21-22 when it hosts North Carolina for single games both days, Saturday’s game will begin at 2:00 p.m., while Sunday’s game will be at 1:00 p.m.