March 6, 2012
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech softball team used 21 hits to earn a doubleheader sweep of Western Carolina, Tuesday. The Yellow Jackets (14-9) won the first game by a 4-2 score, earning the sweep of the Catamounts (9-11) with a 9-4 victory.
Hope Rush was tremendous on the day with a career best tying 10 strikeouts in game one. The junior didn’t get the start in game two but came into the game early in relief and worked Tech out of a jam finishing with two more strikeouts. Overall, Rush pitched 11 innings, allowing just five hits (all in game one) and two runs (game one) while striking out 12. Rush earned two victories on the day bringing her season record to 9-5.
In game one the Jackets got on top in the bottom of the first. Ashley Thomas led things off with a double to the left centerfield gap and came around to score in the next at bat on a single up the middle by Kuzma for the 1-0 lead.
Western Carolina took a lead of its own in the top of the third using a single and a couple of doubles to put two runs up on the board. But, the Jackets responded in the bottom of the fourth.
Hayley Downs started things off with a single up the middle, stealing second on and moving over to third on a ground out to third base by Dike. Downs came home to score on an infield single by Chelsie Thomas, her second of the game, to tie things up at two-all. Tech went ahead in the same inning as Thomas moved up to second on a stolen base, to third on a ground out and home on a single to left field by Kuzma.
Alysha Rudnik added an insurance run in the fifth inning with her second home run of the year, a solo shot over the right field wall on the first pitch of the inning. Tech went on to win 4-2.
Western Carolina used a shaky start by Kylie Kleinschmidt to put the first two runs of the game on the board. The first two Catamount batters walked and advanced a bag on a wild pitch coming around to score on a throwing error by Kleinschmidt. Rush took over on the mound for Tech after that series and worked the Jackets out of the jam.
Tech got one back in the bottom of the first. Ashley Thomas led off yet again with a double, moved to third on a groundout and came home to score on a wild pitch.
The Jackets put five on the board in the fourth inning using two hits, two walks, two stolen bases and a Catamount error. The inning was capped off by a two run double to the left centerfield gap by Rush.
Dike got on base yet again with a double to left center in the fifth, moving up on a sac bunt by Downs and scoring on a sac fly to left field by Shannon Bear to give Tech a 7-2 lead. Rush padded the Tech lead in the sixth blasting a two-run shot down the leftfield line, that just stayed fair and gave the Jackets a 9-2 advantage.
Western Carolina got two back in the seventh, but it was too little too late as Tech earned the sweep of the Catamounts.
The Jackets will keep their home stand going on Thursday night with a 6 p.m. meeting with SIU-Edwardsville here at Mewborn Field.
Keep up to date with the Georgia Tech Softball team all season long at www.RamblinWreck.com as well as twitter.com/GaTechSoftball and facebook.com/GTSoftball