March 8, 2014
THE FLATS – Amidst a 21-game home stand, the Georgia Tech softball team (13-5, 2-3 ACC) split a pair of games Saturday against No. 21/22 Notre Dame at Mewborn Field in the Irish’s inaugural ACC series. The Jackets fell in game one, 3-0, and won game two, 7-3.
Freshman Kanani Cabrales hit .500 (3-for-6) with a double, one run and an RBI to lead Georgia Tech. She also earned the win in game two, allowing three runs on five hits in a complete-game effort. Alysha Rudnik was 3-for-7 with two runs, a double and home run, while Maddie Lionberger added a double, triple and a run on the day.
“It was an offensive struggle for us in the first game,” head coach Shelly Hoerner said. “We didn’t make the adjustments. We talked about them but didn’t act on them. We definitely regrouped for the second game.
“Ashley Thomas set the tone in the first at bat with a walk, and we executed. We talked a lot about executing with runners in scoring position and we did that in the second game. Kanani pitched a great game. She kept their batters off guard and she helped her cause with a couple hits in there as well.”
The series rubber match is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3 with Richard Musterer and Roddy Jones on the call, and will be Tech’s annual pink game.
Game 1: Notre Dame 3, Georgia Tech 0
The Irish scored all three runs in the third inning thanks to a sacrifice fly and a two-run home run. After that inning, Georgia Tech starter Kylie Kleinschmidt settled in and allowed just four additional base runners and struck out seven for the game.
Kleinschmidt (9-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits with one walk in a complete-game performance.
Notre Dame starter Laura Winter (10-2) earned the win, limiting the Jackets to a pair of hits off the bats of Alysha Rudnik and Cabrales.
Game 2: Georgia Tech 7, Notre Dame 3
The Yellow Jackets jumped out of the gate strong in game two, sending all nine batters to the plate in the opening inning with four runs on five hits against Notre Dame starter Allie Rhodes.
Rudnik stepped to the plate with two on and no outs, and smacked a two-RBI double to left center. Cabrales singled on the ensuing at bat to score Rudnik, and Chelsie Thomas’ single through the middle brought Cabrales around to score and give Tech a 4-1 advantage.
Cabrales allowed one run in the first frame, but then settled in for the next five innings.
The Jackets added to their lead in the sixth inning. Against reliever Rachel Nasland, Tech put up three runs sparked by Maddie Lionberger’s leadoff triple and Ashley Thomas’ two-run home run in the next at bat. It marked Ashley Thomas’ sixth round tripper on the season.
Rudnik followed with a one-out solo shot over the leftfield wall, her fifth of the season, to make it a 6-run game, 7-1.
The Irish put up two runs in the top of the seventh on a two-run long ball by Chloe Saganowich, but Cabrales retired the final two batters before Notre Dame could gain momentum.
Cabrales improved to 4-3 in the circle, while Rhodes (4-2) absorbed the loss after giving up four runs on five hits in one inning of work.