May 16, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sophomore Jessica Sallinger tossed Georgia Tech’s second consecutive no-hitter, and senior catcher Lindsay Wood doubled in the game-winning run in the ninth inning to lead the Jackets (38-24) to a 1-0 victory over 17th-ranked Stanford (41-26) Friday in NCAA Softball Regional action at the Alabama Softball Complex. With the victory, Tech now faces the winner of tonight’s Massachusetts-Illinois game at 1 p.m. Eastern Saturday. The Cardinal is eliminated with the loss.
After eight one-hitters this season, Sallinger (22-16) worked nine innings, stuck out three and walked four en route to her third career no-hitter. With Erin Voeltz’s five-inning perfect game against Southern Friday, Tech has not surrendered a hit in its last 14 innings of play. Sallinger’s no-hitter is the 12th in school history and marks the first-ever back-to-back blankings by the Jackets.
“I never would have guessed that we would have thrown two no-hitters in the Regional, much less on consecutive days,” said Tech head coach Kate Madden. “Both of our pitchers are good, but it was still a surprise.”
With eight innings of shutout ball by Sallinger and Stanford’s two-time All-American Dana Sorensen in the books, Wood put the game’s only run on the board with the two-out double to left center, her second hit of the game. The base hit scored first baseman Katie Donovan from first. Donovan reached on a fielder’s choice after junior shortstop Tara Knudsen got the rally started with a single to right.
With a 1-0 lead, Sallinger retired the first two batters of the ninth before second baseman Felicia Coursey made a diving catch to end the game and preserve the no-hitter.
The win was Tech’s second over a top-25 opponent this season and marks the program’s first victory over a Pac-10 squad. The Jackets were 0-6 all-time, and 0-3 this season, against what traditionally ranks as the nation’s top conference entering Friday’s action. Seeded second, Stanford is also the highest seed that the Jackets have defeated in NCAA Regional play, where Tech is now 5-3 over the last two seasons.
After Sorensen (21-11) fanned the first four Jackets she faced, Wood singled to center in the second for the first hit of the game. In all, Sorensen struck out eight of the first 11 Tech batters and tallied 13 strikeouts in the game. She allowed five hits and one walk in nine innings.
Wood’s second inning single remained the game’s only hit until Donovan reached on an infield single to second base in the top of the seventh. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wood, but right fielder Soraya Reddick popped out to short to end the inning.
Sallinger went the distance for her ninth shutout and 31st complete game of the season. The win was the 50th of her career, a Tech record. She also struck out three batters and now has 329 this season, just eight short of her single-season mark set a year ago.
Sallinger walked four batters and committed an error, and the Cardinal had two runners on in both the third and fourth innings, but she was able to work out of the jam both times.
Wood was 2-for-3 with the double and the run batted in to lead the Jackets at the plate. After a combined 19 hits in Thursday’s games and five against the Cardinal, Tech is batting .312 as a team in NCAA Regional play. Wood is batting .429 (3-7) with two doubles and two runs scored.
In the game before the Tech-Stanford tilt, the Cardinal lost to sixth-seeded Southern Illinois, 6-1, to fall into the loser’s bracket. The Salukis now face top-seeded Alabama Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for a berth in the Regional final.