May 2, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A perfect game by senior pitcher Tiffany Johnson helped the No. 23/16 Georgia Tech softball team (40-13, 17-3 ACC) sweep Maryland (29-25, 9-11) Saturday afternoon and clinch the ACC regular season title. Johnson had nine strikeouts as the Yellow Jackets won game two 8-0 in five innings. In game one, Tech won 9-2 behind two home runs and five RBI off the bat of Yee.
The last no-hitter in Georgia Tech history was a combined one between Johnson and Sarah Wood in an 11-1 win over Lipscomb on March 3, 2007. The last perfect game in Yellow Jacket history was hurled by Jessica Sallinger against Florida State on March 26, 2005.
Redshirt junior Jen Yee was on base eight times in nine at bats as she went 3-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI. She also drew five walks. Johnson improved to 14-3 on the season as she threw just 61 pitches, 43 for strikes. She had nine strikeouts and only one three-ball count all game. Kristen Adkins improved to 22-7 with the game one victory. She scattered eight hits, all singles, and was charged with two unearned runs. Adkins walked three and struck out four.
Tech will be the No. 1 seed in the ACC Championship, May 8-10, in Raleigh, N.C. The Yellow Jackets will play eighth-seeded Virginia in the first round on Friday, May 8, at 5 p.m. The ACC Tournament is single-elimination this year.
With the wins today, Georgia Tech has now won 13 straight league games this season. Regardless of tomorrow’s series finale, the Yellow Jackets have won all seven ACC series’ in 2009 and 10 in a row dating back to last year.
Game one was scoreless until the top of the third inning when the Jackets struck for three runs against Terrapin starting pitcher Kerry Hickey. Jones led off with a single, stole second base and came around to score when Yee hit her first of two home runs on the day, a line drive over the fence in right field. Shimandle reached on catcher’s interference, stole second base and scored the third Tech run later in the inning on a RBI ground out by Johnson.
A three-run home run by Yee in the fourth inning made it a 6-0 game and broke the game wide open. After there were two outs, freshman Jessica Sinclair singled to right-center field and then a walk by Jones set up Yee’s second round-tripper of the game. She now has a team-high 12 home runs, which is tied for first place in the ACC.
Tech made it a 9-0 game with three more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Shimandle had a two-run single and freshman Kelsi Weseman added a RBI double to complete the Jackets’ scoring in the game.
Maryland struck for two unearned runs against Adkins in the sixth to prevent the run-rule, but that would be as close as they would get.
Game two was scoreless with two outs in the top of the third inning until seven straight Georgia Tech batters reached base resulting in six runs. Maryland starter Sarah Dooley got the first two outs of the inning on just three pitches, but a walk to Yee started the rally. After a Shimandle single, Weseman made it a 1-0 game with a RBI single of her own. After senior Whitney Haller was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Johnson got hit on the first pitch she saw from Dooley forcing in the second run of the game.
Tech was not done with the two runs, however, Adkins made it 4-0 with a two-run single and then a two-run double off the bat of sophomore Jessica Weaver accounted for the fifth and sixth runs of the inning.
That would be more than enough offense for Johnson as she continued to mow down the Terps. She recorded eight of her nine strikeouts on swings and had just one three-ball count all day.
The Jackets capped the scoring in the fourth on RBI ground outs by Haller and Johnson, setting the stage for Johnson’s dramatics.
The Yellow Jackets will conclude the regular season tomorrow with a 1 p.m. game against the University of Maryland. Live audio and stats are available free of charge at www.ramblinwreck.com.