ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech softball team used its rally caps on a number of occasions on Tuesday afternoon in order to claim a doubleheader sweep of the Harvard Crimson at Glenn Field. In the first game, the Yellow Jackets (18-13) needed a run in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, and then had to come from behind again to take a 3-2 nine-inning victory. The win was Tech’s first in extra innings this year. In the day’s second game, Tech fell behind again and did not find its offense until the sixth inning in a 4-1 win to finish the day.
In the first game of the twin bill, Harvard got on the board in the top of the fifth inning as Breanne Cooley scored on a dropped fly ball by Tech center fielder Sara Wissmann, after reaching base on a fielder’s choice to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead. The Jackets then were able to end the threat as Lisa Feigenbaum was thrown out after being caught in a rundown off of third base.
The Jackets once again had to stop a threat in the top of the seventh as Harvard put runners on the corners with one out after Sarah Koppel reached on an infield single and was replaced by pinch runner Lisa Watanabe, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cooley singled to move Watanabe to third and also chased Tech starter Tiffany Goodman from the game in favor of freshman Erin Voeltz. The Crimson was unable to solve Voeltz as she struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Tech was able to score a run in the bottom of the seventh, as Tara Knudsen drew a lead off walk before being replaced on the base paths by Erin Glantz. Glantz moved to second on a groundout and then scored when senior Erin Hawley delivered a RBI-double that hit the right-center field fence on the fly. Hawley moved to third on a fielder’s choice while Mimi Utt was at the plate as the Crimson did not attempt a play on her advance from second. The Jackets were unable to advance Hawley as the next two batters grounded out to end the inning.
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect in the eighth inning, Harvard struck first as Kim Koral scored from third base on a passed ball by Tech catcher Tasha Waugh after reaching base on an infield single and moving to third on a single by Tiffany Whitton. The Jackets earlier had recorded the key second out of the inning, when Waugh picked the Crimson’s Grace Bloodwell off of third base on a throw to the shortstop Knudsen.
Tech answered in its half of the inning as Susanne Miller singled to left field, which moved Soraya Reddick to third base. Reddick then scored when Jamie Frost flew out to right field to knot the score again at 2-2.
Tech got out of the top of the ninth quickly as Koppel lined out to second baseman Ellen Styer, who threw to second to double up Wendy Ciovacco, who had been placed at second base for tiebreaker purposes. Without allowing a run in the top of the ninth, the Jackets took advantage as Styer was placed on second and beat out a throw to third on a grounder by Knudsen to put runners on the corners with no outs. Tech used another sacrifice fly to win the game as Waugh flew out to left field to score Styer and end the game with a final 3-2 score.
Voeltz (9-8) picked up her eighth win of the year in the first game as she went 2.2 innings in relief, striking out three and allowing only two hits and no earned runs. Havard’s Kara Brotemarkle took the loss in relief after only 0.1 innings of work, without allowing a hit.
The second game of the day proved to equally intriguing, as neither team was able to push across a run in the first three innings. Harvard once again took the lead first in the top of the third inning, as Cherry Fu popped up to shallow right field with two outs and Tech second baseman Ellen Styer was unable to handle the ball, which rolled to the fence and allowed Fu to score.
That would be the Crimson’s only run of the contest and two innings later the Yellow Jacket offense came to life with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the final 4-1 margin. After Tara Knudsen led off the frame with a single and was replaced by Sara Wissmann on the bases, Erin Hawley walked after Wissmann stole second base to put two on with one out. Soraya Reddick then reached on an error by Harvard shortstop Rachel Goldberg that allowed Wissmann to score and put Hawley on second. Both Reddick and Hawley moved up a base on a wild pitch by Crimson starter Chelsea Thoke and scored one batter later when Susanne Miller sent her first career triple over the drawn in Harvard outfield to increase the margin to 3-1. Miller then scored the final run of the game when sophomore Lindsay Wood recorded a pinch-hit RBI single to center field.
Voeltz picked up her second win in as many outings on the day as she went the distance, scattering six hits and allowing just the one unearned run while striking out five in earning her ninth victory of the year. Thoke took the loss for Harvard, as she tossed six innings and gave up four runs, two of which were earned, on six hits while striking out seven Tech hitters.
The Jackets will continue a full week of games on Thursday when they travel to Chattanooga to face the Mocs in a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.