Softball loses two in home opener against Virginia

The Jackets’ early season woes continued on Wednesday when Tech opened up its ACC schedule. The Jackets dropped both of their games in their double-header against Virginia, moving the Jackets’ record to 6-14 overall and 0-2 in the ACC.

In the first game, the Jackets struggled defensively, falling 8-2 to the Cavaliers. In the third inning, UVA picked up five runs off of only two hits. After the bases were loaded, freshman Stephanie Morris came into the game. While she got a 2-2 advantage, she gave up a grand slam to Sara Tacke.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Jackets tried to mount a comeback. Junior Whitney Haller and senior Savannah Brown each picked up a hit. Freshman Jessica Weaver knocked in Haller and Brown to drop the Virginia lead to three.

In the top of the fifth, the Cavaliers widened their lead to six as two batters were walked, one was hit by a pitch and a wild pitch allowed two to cross the plate. While Tech got two runners on base with only one out, they could not capitalize and get any runs on the board.

Freshman Christy Jones was able to go 2-for-3 and picked up a run in the bottom of the seventh. Unfortunately, Tech batters left a total of six runners on base, and Tech’s pitchers gave up a total of seven walks which drained on the Jackets ability to gain momentum on either side of the ball.

In the second game, Tech stifled UVA offensive production, but the Jackets were not able to pick up enough runs to take the win. Junior Tiffany Johnson pitched a complete game where she gave up only two runs and no walks.

UVA picked up their first run in the top of the first with Kelly Haller knocking in a solo shot out past the left field wall. In the third, senior Stephanie Butler got Tech’s first hit, but Johnson hit into a double play, preventing Tech from gaining any runs.

The Jackets showed some signs of a rally in the bottom of the fifth when senior Brittany Barnes hit a solo home run to cut UVA’s lead down to one. The Jackets, however, did not pick up another run.

The Jackets host the Buzz Challenge this weekend up in Woodstock, Ga. They are slated to face Mercer, Elon, Minnesota and Western Michigan on Friday and Saturday before beginning tournament play on Sunday.

The Jackets will attempt to improve their record and live up to their preseason billing as a top-25 team.