ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech softball team was unable to overcome seven errors and dropped a doubleheader to in-state rival Georgia at the Women’s Athletic Complex in Athens, Ga. Tech (22-17) was plagued by five errors in the first game and fell by a 5-4 count, and in the second game, the Jackets were unable to hold onto a 2-0 lead with two outs in the seventh inning and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Bulldogs (23-24).
In the day’s first game, the Yellow Jackets took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as freshman Tara Knudsen took Bulldog starter Nichole Urban’s 0-2 offering over the left-field fence and midway up the 30-foot-tall scoreboard for her third home run of the year.
Georgia knotted the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning, as Michelle Tyree reached on an error by Tech third baseman Jamie Frost to lead off the frame. She then stole second and third before scoring when Erin Glantz’ attempted throw to third went into the outfield.
The Jackets then climbed back on top in the second inning with a pair of runs. Ellen Styer led off the inning with a single to right-center and moved to second on an error by UGA right fielder Melanie Robertson. Styer then stole third base before scoring when Soraya Reddick reached base on an error by the Bulldog infield. Reddick was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jennifer Biggers and then scored on an RBI double by Erin Glantz to give Tech a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, Georgia took its first lead of the game with three runs in the frame. Robertson singled with one out and stole second before scoring on a single by Monique Rhoden. Rhoden advanced to third on the throw home to attempt to cut down Robertson and scored on an illegal pitch by Jacket starter Tiffany Goodman. Nicole Barber then drew a two-out walk and stole second base before scoring on a single by Julie Milner to give the Bulldogs 4-3 advantage.
The Bulldogs increased their advantage to 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning as a pair of errors by Goodman allowed Kristen Bell to reach base and then score after Julie Raiskums reached on the second error of the inning.
Tech made the final 5-4 margin in the top of the seventh as Biggers led off the inning with a double and then scored on an RBI-single by Glantz. Glantz was thrown out at second on the play and the Jackets were unable to muster any more offense. The freshman catcher finished the contest 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI to lead the Jackets.
Nichole Urban (8-6) settled down after the first two innings and earned the win as she allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on eight hits and four strikeouts. Goodman (7-7) took the loss as she allowed five runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits. Tech’s five errors in the game were a season high, and led to four Bulldog runs.
In the second game of the twin bill, both starting pitchers, Erin Voeltz for Tech and Urban for Georgia, held the opposition scoreless and limited the other team’s offense to five hits before the Jackets got on the board in the top of the fifth inning to claim a 2-0 lead.
With two outs in the frame, freshman Sara Wissmann drew a walk and reached second on a single by Jamie Frost. Both players scored when Tara Knudsen reached second base on a throwing error by Bulldog second baseman Monique Rhoden. Knudsen then moved to third on a throwing error by first baseman Alyssa Mauro, but the Jackets were unable to push her across.
Georgia won the game in the bottom of the seventh inning as Nicole Barber and Milner drew walks to lead off the inning and Barber moved to third on a flyout by Kristen Bell. Shannon McKeon then reached base on an error by Knudsen that allowed Barber to score. A single by Julie Raiskums scored Milner and a throwing error by Tech left fielder Jennifer Biggers plated McKeon from first with the winning run.
Urban (9-6) picked up her second victory in as many games by allowing two unearned runs on three hits. Voeltz (11-9) was the hard-luck loser as she tossed six shutout innings to start the game and gave up the three unearned runs while striking out three.
Georgia Tech will return to action this weekend with key ACC doubleheaders at Virginia on Saturday, April 14, and Maryland on Sunday April 15.