ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech softball team’s offense came alive on Friday, as the Yellow Jackets (9-6) swept their opening three games in the Georgia State Invitational being held at Panthersville in Atlanta, Ga.
The Yellow Jackets won the first game of the day in a five-inning affair with Campbell by a 12-2 count. In the second contest of the day, Tech came from behind to down host Georgia State by a score of 10-7, and in the nightcap, the Jackets used solid pitching to down Eastern Michigan 3-0.
In the first game of the day with Campbell (10-5), the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on the strength of freshman Tasha Waugh’s first career home run. After Tara Knudsen singled and stole second, and Erin Hawley walked, Waugh drove Camel starter Michelle Carey’s 0-1 offering over the left field wall.
Tech then upped its advantage to 8-0 in the bottom of the second with five runs in the frame. Freshman Sara Wissmann and Erin Hawley each recorded doubles, with Wissmann’s being a leadoff hit. Wissmann scored on a passed ball after moving over to third on a bunt single by Soraya Reddick. Reddick later scored on the double by Hawley. After the Jackets’ first three runs of the inning chased Carey from the game, Waugh greeted reliever Kathy Freaney with her second home run in as many innings with a two-run shot to left that scored Knudsen.
Campbell scored its only two runs of the game in the third and fourth innings, as Meredith Moody scored on a passed ball after reaching base on a fielder’s choice in the third. In the fourth inning, Lisa Evans sent a one-out home run over the left-field fence, to cut Tech’s lead to 8-2.
The Jackets closed out the scoring in the contest by taking a decisive 12-2 lead in the fourth inning, as Jamie Frost led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Camel error that allowed Knudsen to reach base. Tech loaded the bases after Tasha Waugh drew a one out walk, and Lindsay Wood made Campbell pay as she sent the first pitch she saw over the left field wall for her first career grand slam and first homer of the year.
Waugh finished the game 2-for-2 at the plate with the two homers and five RBI. Goodman (5-3) picked up the win for the Jackets as she scattered six hits and allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, while striking out a season-high six batters. Carey (5-2) took the loss after allowed seven runs, six of which were earned and giving up nine hits.
In the day’s second game, the Jackets took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against host Georgia State, as Frost and Knudsen started the inning with back-to-back singles, and later scored on a single by Waugh and an error respectively. The big hit of the inning was a two-run homer by Wood, her second in as many games on the day.
The Panthers answered in the top of the second inning with a seven-run outburst to grab a 7-4 lead. The rally was aided by three Tech errors, including one that allowed both Shannon McCormick and Yolanda McCrae to score. With the bases full, Corrie Roberts turned in the big hit of the inning as she sent Erin Voeltz’ payoff pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam.
Tech climbed back on top by a 9-7 score in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Frost and Knudsen led off the inning with singles, and Erin Hawley drew a walk to load the bases. Waugh followed with a two-RBI single and the Jackets’ next two batters, Wood and Ellen Styer, lined base hits up the middle to score runs. A sac fly to center by Jennifer Biggers closed out the scoring in the frame. Frost finished the game 3-4 at the plate, while Waugh and Wood each had a pair of hits.
After reaching on an error and stealing second, Reddick scored in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI double by Knudsen to make the score 10-7. Voeltz (4-3) earned the win, allowing seven runs, only four of which were earned, while striking out five. Andrea McNary (5-1) was saddled with her first loss of the year as she allowed eight runs, all of which were earned and 10 hits in four innings of work.
In the final game of the day, Tech drew first blood once again as it plated a run in the bottom of the third inning. After singling and stealing second, Soraya Reddick scored on a two-out RBI double by Tara Knudsen to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets upped their advantage to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Jennifer Biggers scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Reddick after singling to lead off the inning and reaching second on a wild pitch before stealing third. Reddick later scored on an RBI single by Knudsen.
Tiffany Goodman threw five scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and striking out three, before being relieved in the sixth inning by Mimi Utt, who earned a save in her first appearance of the year, as she tossed two perfect innings and struck out one Eagle batter. Jessica Price (0-2) took the loss for EMU as she allowed four hits and three earned runs in 4.2 innings of work.
The Georgia State Invitational will continue tomorrow, as Georgia Tech will face Troy State at 12 p.m., and finish pool play against Missouri-Kansas City at 2 p.m.