Oct. 6, 2004
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech softball team concluded the fall season with a tie against Wallace Dothan, 1-1, and a win over Lurleen B. Wallace C.C., 6-0, Saturday afternoon at Glenn Field. The Yellow Jackets finish the fall with a record of 4-0-1.
“Overall, we didnt play up to our capabilities and we know it,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “Our hitters made bad decisions with pitch selection and their overall approach. She was the best pitcher we’ve seen so far, but still we are capable of doing better.
“Our short game was effective though, led by Caitlin Lever, who is having a great fall and has been a pleasant surprise for us. She is a transfer from Canisius College who had a good freshman year for them before transferring. I knew she was good, but she took her game to another level by working with a speed coach over the summer. The work has paid off and she will be one of, if not, the fastest players in the ACC. She can do it all, hit with gap power, slap, and drag bunt. She is a difference maker for us.
“Another bright spot has been the defensive effort by Lauren Schlechte behind the plate. Not only has her mechanics and footwork improved, but she has taken on more of a verbal role that good catchers must have. Our pitchers have benefitted greatly from her framing, blocking, and ability to throw runners out. She’s made great improvements and its all due to attitude. The sky is the limit for her because of her athleticism, but her approach to the game has enabled that ability to manifest itself.
“Our power hitters got themselves into trouble Saturday by not working the count. Too many good pitches were taken and bad pitches swung at. You can’t give a good pitcher those kind of breaks. It’s tough enough to hit them when your approach is sound. I need to do a better job of training our hitters on how to devise a plan before they ever get in the box. But I guess thats what the fall is for, identifying weaknesses and addressing them so they dont hurt you too bad in the spring.
“I think game two was a continuation of game one in terms of offensive approach and production. The bright side is that the talent is there. We have 4 or 5 hitters who posses home run power and can drive in a lot of runs for us. I suspect they will respond and fulfill their duty by spring. It will be crucial for them too, as we dont want to just a one dimensional team that has to rely on speed every time out. We will have a very balanced attack of speed and power when everyone gets comfortable and knows their role in the lineup.
“Our pitching has been spotty. Jessica Sallinger has been consistently overpowering, but our 2 and 3 pitchers haven’t had the consistency that they would like. They are working very hard to get better this fall and they will have to dedicate themselves to that process through the winter months as well in order to be ready for spring competition.
“All in all, this is going to be a fun team to watch. We will run the bases harder than anyone in the country and are going to be tough to defend with all of our speed. These girls are close to one another and understand team softball. They are all beginning to understand their role and will get even more comfortable as time goes on. If we stay healthy, improve our depth at the pitching position, and execute, I dont see why we cant finish the season at the College World Series. We are far from that now, but if they are willing to work it is certainly obtainable.”