March 3, 2013
ORLANDO – On a brisk Sunday morning at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, the Georgia Tech softball team’s bats were hot and cut through the wind with 17 runs on 16 hits to defeat the Temple Owls, 17-8, through six innings in both teams’ Citrus Classic finale.
Huge fifth and sixth innings powered the Yellow Jackets past Temple, as Tech plated 13 runs on 11 hits. For the third time this season the Jackets posted 16 hits and four doubles, as they improved to 11-11 overall. The Owls slipped to 2-7.
“We were confident today and really were aggressive in our at bats,” head coach Sharon Perkins said. “We were swinging early instead of taking so many pitches.”
With the score tied 4-4, thanks in part to a two-run homer from Courtney Ziese in the second inning, Tech loaded the bases in the top of the fifth frame on a walk, a hit-by-pitch and a fielder’s choice. Top of the order Ashley Thomas stepped to the plate and singled through the left side to score Ziese. Morgan Taylor pulled through with an RBI-single to plate Caitlyn Coffey.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Katie Johnsky ripped a bases-clearing double to left center, scoring Hayley Downs, Ashley Thomas and Taylor. Johnsky went 3-for-4 on the day with six RBI, one run and a walk.
Temple starter Jessica Mahoney didn’t make it through the fifth inning and was replaced by Brooklin White. Mahoney threw 4.2 innings with nine runs on nine hits and seven walks.
Tech batted around in the following frame, ending the day for White after just 0.2 innings pitched. Karly Fullem kicked things off with a solo shot over the left-field fence for her first long ball of the season and the second home run for Tech on the day.
After Fullem’s leadoff round-tripper, the Yellow Jackets then loaded the bases once again on a hit-by-pitch, a walk and a single.
With just one out, Johnsky crushed her second double to score two more runs for Tech and give the Yellow Jackets a 10-4 advantage.
Maddie Lionberger roped a double down the left field line to score both Rush and Johnsky, sending White out of the circle for Jessica Tolmie.
Tolmie finished the inning for Temple, but not before hitting Fullem and allowing one more run to cross the plate as every Yellow Jacket, but one, made it home.
The Owls put together a four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back home runs, but Tech slammed the door.
Ashley Clifton (1-2) earned her first win of the season, throwing the first 4.0 innings. She allowed four runs on six hits with four strikeouts, before Kylie Kleinschmidt entered the game and pitched the remaining 2.0 frames.
The Jackets continue their 14-game road swing and start ACC play March 9-10 at Virginia.