Feb. 9, 2003
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Senior Lindsay Wood’s RBI double in the eighth inning gave the No. 19 Georgia Tech softball team (2-2) a 2-1 victory over Boston College (1-3) Sunday in the consolation final of the Gamecock Invitational at South Carolina’s Beckham Field. The Jackets lost to UNC Greensboro, 1-0, in the day’s first game.
Having entered the game in the fourth, sophomore ace Jessica Sallinger (1-2) tossed five scoreless innings to earn her first win of the season. She allowed no runs on four hits and struck out three Eagles in her first relief appearance of the season.
Against the Eagles, Tech fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the second. A double from Boston College pitcher Michelle Daly plated pinch runner Sara Kellner from first and gave the Eagles a one-run advantage.
The Jackets then snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak in the top of the fourth on a solo home run to left center by junior All-American Tara Knudsen. The homer was Knudsen’s first of the season and 22nd of her career.
Tech had a chance to take the lead in the top of the seventh, but pinch runner Sara Wissmann was thrown out at home on a single to right field by sophomore Kirin Kumar. That play ended the frame and gave BC momentum going into its final at bat.
The Eagles’ Jacqui Goodchild led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Boston College designated player Erin Mackay then singled to right field, but Tech’s Amy Hosier came up throwing to the plate. Yellow Jacket catcher Lindsay Wood then made a spectacular catch and tag on Goodchild to send the game into extra innings.
Jackets’ starter Erin Voeltz tossed only 2.2 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and no walks. She added two strikeouts. Voeltz left the game after allowing a double to BC’s Lisa Fischer in the third. Senior Tiffany Goodman got the final out of the third before giving way to Sallinger in the fourth.
Coursey went 2-for-3 to lead Tech at the plate.
Daly (0-2) took the loss for BC after allowing two earned runs in 7.2 innings pitched.
Against UNCG, Sallinger quickly put Saturday’s rough outing against South Carolina behind her, as she retired the nine of the first 10 Spartans she faced, including five via strikeout. But UNCG would scratch first, as an errant throw by shortstop Tara Knudsen pulled first baseman Tasha Waugh off the bag and allowed the Spartans’ Amber Watson to score from third and gave UNC Greensboro a 1-0 lead. Watson tripled down the right field line to start the scoring threat.
UNCG starter Jessica Vanderploeg was every bit as effective as Sallinger, as she held Tech hitless through four innings. The Jackets mounted a scoring threat in the bottom of the fifth, as a walk to Waugh and a single to center by right fielder Kirin Kumar put two on. Pinch runner Amy Hosier and Kumar advanced on a wild pitch, but Vanderploeg retired Felicia Coursey and Katie Donovan to strand the runners and second and third.
Sallinger was the tough-luck loser for the Jackets, as she allowed no earned runs and just four hits in seven innings of work. She struck out 11 Spartans in the 15th double-digit strikeout game of her career.
Vanderploeg earned the win for UNCG. She fanned 10 Tech batters and gave up three hits and six walks in seven innings. The shutout marked the first time the Jackets have been held scoreless in consecutive games since losses to Florida Atlantic and Southern Illinois at last season’s FAU Worth Invitational. Shortstop Jennifer Hubbard led the Spartans with two hits.
20th-ranked South Carolina and UNC Greensboro will meet at 3 p.m. in the tourney’s title game.
Tech returns to action when the Jackets travel to Chattanooga Tuesday for a 4 p.m. doubleheader with the Lady Mocs.