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Yellow Jacket Rally Falls Short in ACC Quarterfinals

PITTSBURGH – Despite a three-run rally in the top of the seventh to draw within striking distance, Georgia Tech softball (37-16, 11-13 ACC) fell short in a comeback against No. 9 Duke (41-7, 19-3 ACC), dropping 9-6 on Thursday at Vartabedian Field. The Yellow Jackets knocked two home runs in the final frame, but were unable to overcome a five-run sixth inning by the Blue Devils.

Senior right fielder Kennedy Cowden stole the show at the dish for the White and Gold, hammering two dingers for three RBI. The senior slugger equaled her season total as she moved up to four home runs on the year. Graduate first baseman Tricia Awald also put together a solid day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, including a solo shot. Awald and Cowden were both responsible for the final spark in the waning moments. Junior pitcher Chandler Dennis got the start in the circle and received the loss.

The second-seeded Blue Devils struck early, knocking a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. Duke added another pair in the third swatting a two-RBI double down the left-field line to take a 4-0 lead.

No. 7 seed Georgia Tech gained back some ground in the top of the fifth, picking up a pair of its own runs. Freshman left fielder Auburn Dupree got the Jackets started with a leadoff single, moving into scoring position off freshman center fielder Ella Edgmons sacrifice bunt. A walk and wild pitch later, junior catcher Emma Kauf drove home Dupree. Sophomore third baseman Mallorie Black then scampered home from third on a wild pitch, drawing Tech within two, trailing 4-2.

Cowden followed in the next frame with a solo bomb, pulling the Jackets within one. Duke fired back next in the bottom half, unloading three home runs for five RBI between them.

Despite the six-run deficit, Georgia Tech battled back in the top of the seventh. Awald gave the Yellow Jackets life with a solo bomb. Senior second baseman Bailee Zeitler next shot a double down the left field line, setting up a two-run blast by Cowden, her second time going yard on the day. The Blue Devils would stop the bleeding there, escaping with a 9-6 win to advance to the tournament semifinals.

Game Notes

  • Tech belted three home runs on the day, marking the fourth time this season and tying a single-season high.
  • Cowden equaled her single season home run total with two on the day, moving up to four home runs on the season. She now owns eight throughout her career.
  • Cowden tallied multiple home runs in a single game for the first time in her career.
  • Awald roped her ninth longball of the season, moving up to 45 career dingers. The decorated Jacket is now one home run away from moving into a tie for fifth in program history in career home runs.
  • Kauf laced another double as she remains second in program history in doubles through a season and is up to 24 on the year, leading the ACC and placing second in the NCAA.

Up Next

Georgia Tech awaits potential selection to an NCAA Regional. The selection show will air on Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

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