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The Good Word

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

It’s that time of year when all of us Georgia Tech faithful are fortunate to enjoy some of the nation’s great springtime college athletic events — right in our own backyard. Shirley Clements Mewborn Field on the Tech campus is the site of the NCAA’s Atlanta Regional Softball Tournament this weekend. Our Yellow Jackets are fresh off their second consecutive ACC Championship and carry a No. 8 national seed into the four-team event.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to catch a game at Mewborn Field, you are in for a real treat. This 2nd-year venue is as fan-friendly as it gets. Nestled right off of Fowler Street, the backdrop is dramatic and will once again be showcased all weekend on ESPN as the network provides live national coverage of the event. Come out and see National Player of the Year Candidate Jen Yee, sensational freshman pitcher Hope Rush and all the Jackets.

Auburn and Oregon lead off the tournament with a 5:30 p.m. game on Friday evening with Sharon Perkins’ Jackets facing Jacksonville State Friday night at 8 p.m. The double-elimination tournament continues on Saturday with games at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m. Sunday’s Final is at 1 p.m. with the “if necessary” conclusion at 3:30. Single-day tickets are available currently online. If you are interested in “All-Session” passes ($30 reserved and $20 general admission), please call the ticket office at 404-894-5447. You don’t want to miss this action.

Golf Regional Here Too
Not too far away — at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course — Bruce Heppler’s ACC Champion golfers are part of a 13-team regional field competing for slots in the NCAA national championship. Our Jackets are seeded third in this weekend’s event behind Oklahoma State and Arizona State. All 13 teams in the field are among the nation’s top 50. This is the 13th consecutive regional appearance for the Tech golf team.

To learn more about the tournament site, located in Alpharetta, click here. To keep up with the Yellow Jackets while they are in action in the tournament, visit the tournament’s “Live Scoring page.”

Baseball Regular Season Ending, ACC is Next Week
While all this fun is going on here in Atlanta, Danny Hall’s baseball Jackets are trying to bring home yet another regional opportunity to the campus. They have a bit more work to finish before their season is complete. Georgia Tech is playing its final three-game series of the regular season at Boston College Thursday through Saturday. The Yellow Jackets still have an outside shot at the No. 1 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament, but it will take a sweep of BC, coupled with a Miami sweep of Virginia down in South Florida to make that happen. Either way, Tech is in great position to host an NCAA regional baseball tournament here at Russ Chandler Stadium the first week of June.

Next week’s ACC Baseball Tournament action takes place in Greensboro at NewBridge Bank Park beginning Wednesday at noon with the championship game set for Sunday, the 30th at 1 p.m. If you’re interested in attending the ACC Baseball Tournament, tickets are available. Click here to purchase tickets to the tournament.

Great Year in Tennis
Congratulations to both our men’s and women’s tennis teams for reaching the NCAA Tournament. Although both were eliminated in regional action, it doesn’t diminish their accomplishments this year. Hats off to Bryan Shelton’s women’s team for winning the ACC Title. Our No. 1 singles player, Irina Falconi, will move on to NCAA singles competition next week in Athens, Ga. And Kenny Thorne’s men’s team played stellar all year long, building the foundation for a great future. Our Guillermo Gomez, ranked No. 4 nationally, will play in the NCAA singles championship in Athens.

Proud of Our Graduates
It’s always gratifying to see so many student athletes and young people affiliated with our sports programs receive their degrees from Georgia Tech. A Tech degree is a monumental accomplishment and we salute those who have worked so hard to complete the task. This spring we had 65 graduates from our athletic family and I wholeheartedly congratulate each of them and their families who provided the great support and motivation. For a list of our spring graduates click here.

ACC TV Deal
You may have read this week about the reported deal between the ACC and ESPN as it relates to our television contract beginning in 2011-12. While the deal is not 100 percent done, we are very optimistic that our conference will be in a very much improved position when it comes to TV rights over the next 10 years. This is one of the most important components of our conference membership and much time and energy has been expended. I will be able to share the full details of this impending relationship in the near future.

Conference Expansion
Likewise, there is not a whole lot to report in this area except to say that we are keeping a watchful eye over the landscape in college athletics. We are very proud to be a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. I truly do not anticipate wholesale movement in the college landscape as we sit here today, but certainly things can change rapidly. We know that Georgia Tech is an extremely attractive brand across this country with our academic profile, athletic history of success and location in the eighth largest television market in America. Our staff and I will monitor the events as they unfold, always keeping the best interests of the Institute, our Alumni and fans at the forefront.

Track Preparing For NCAA Regionals
The men’s and women’s track teams, off since solid performances last week in the Georgia Tech Invitational, will be back in action May 28-29 at the NCAA East Regional in Greensboro, N.C. Several members of the teams will be attempting to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June in Eugene, Oregon.

Final Caravan Stop Is Tuesday
The last stop on the spring caravan is Tuesday in LaGrange at the Lafayette Garden Inn and Conference Center. The event, which is scheduled from 6-8 p.m., is free but you are asked to pre-register online here.

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