March 12, 2014
THE FLATS – Freshman Colleen Darragh tallied seven RBI with a walkoff grand slam, a two-run home run and an RBI-single to lead Georgia Tech (15-6, 4-4 ACC) to a pair of wins Wednesday against Virginia (3-18, 1-7 ACC) at Mewborn Field. The Jackets defeated Virginia in game one, 10-2 in six innings, before downing the Cavaliers, 3-2 in eight innings, ending a 21-game home stand with a bang.
“We kept plugging along in the second game; kept chipping away. I’m proud of the girls, especially coming through in the eighth inning.”
The Jackets had a 6-2 lead in game one when Tech loaded the bases with no outs, setting up an RBI opportunity for Darragh. Kanani Cabrales reached on a Virginia error, pinch hitter Samantha Pierannunzi walked and pinch hitter Courtney Ziese reached on an infield single.
Darragh, fresh off her first collegiate home run earlier in the game, a two-run bomb over the scoreboard in left, stepped to the plate and rocked a 2-1 pitch to the same spot to give Tech the run-rule advantage.
The last time Georgia Tech hit a grand slam came on April 29, 2012 by Hope Rush in a 5-0 victory against Virginia Tech.
Virginia scored both its runs in the fourth inning on back-to-back bombs by Heidi Velk and Madison Labshere.
Kylie Kleinschmidt (10-3) earned the victory with two runs on three hits and seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Aimee Chapdelaine (3-15) suffered the loss allowing the first three runs on two hits in 3.0 innings pitched.
The Cavaliers scored first in game two on a solo-shot to center off the bat of Velk in the fourth inning. The Jackets countered in the bottom of the same frame courtesy of Darragh’s single through the left side, which plated Katie Johnsky.
Virginia regained the lead 2-1 in the top of the fifth, and the Jackets answered in the sixth inning as pinch runner Kaitlin Kates stole home on a double-steal attempt with Darragh at first. As Darragh drew the throw to second and got caught in a run down, Kates was able to take home and force extra innings.
The Jackets fielded their eighth double play of the season to help stave off the Cavaliers in the top of the eighth. Downs led off the home half of the inning with her second double of the game and Alysha Rudnik was intentionally walked. Cabrales reached on a Virginia fielding error, loading the bases with no outs for Johnsky.
The Sarasota, Fla., native stepped in the box and roped a line drive through the right side to score the game-winning run.
Downs went 2-for-4 with a run and Johnsky went 1-for-2 with a run and RBI to lead Tech in game two.
Cabrales (5-3) earned the win with two runs on six hits and seven strikeouts in the complete-effort. Chapdelaine (3-16) absorbed the loss with three runs on seven hits and five walks.
The Jackets hit the road for the first time this season with a three-game series at Maryland. Action begins Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.