Softball wins four at NFCA Leadoff Classic

On Feb 26-28, No. 11 Tech softball traveled to Columbus, Ga. for the NFCA Leadoff Classic. Tech won four out of five games in the tournament, falling 2-0 against Nebraska but also defeating No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette.

Against Central Florida on Friday, junior pitcher Kristen Adkins threw a one hit shutout to defeat UCF 1-0. Adkins needed only 65 pitches to shut down UCF and win her third game of the season.

The only run in the game came off the bat of redshirt senior second baseman Jen Yee in the third inning. Yee hit a solo home run to centerfield, her sixth of the season.

In their second game of the day Tech took on Nebraska, and their offense did worse than they did against UCF.

The teams were involved in a pitchers dual for the first six innings. Freshman pitcher Hope Rush only allowed five hits through the first six innings while striking out four. Nebraska’s Robin Mackin shut down the Jackets by only allowing three hits.

Nebraska won the game in the top of the seventh when Rush walked two batters and allowed an RBI single and a sac fly.

Tech finally found their offense on Saturday against Arkansas, rebounding with an 11-2 win.

Tech hit five home runs in the game to defeat the Razorbacks in only five innings. Yee went 3-for-3 in the game, hitting two two-run homers. Sophomore shortstop Kelsi Weseman also had a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning batting from the leadoff spot. Sophomore leftfielder Kate Kuzma added a two-run homer in the inning to give Tech a commanding 9-0 lead.

Adkins hit a home run later in the game and pitched well, allowing one earned run and struck out five in five innings.

On Sunday, Tech faced No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette in a battle of ranked teams.

Rush pitched well again and only gave up one run on six base hits. She went 2-4 from the plate including two RBI in route to a 7-1 Tech win.

Rush’s only blemish came in the second inning when the Cajuns used two infield singles and a stolen base to score one run.

Tech scored their first runs of the game in the third inning when they loaded the bases with two outs. Yee hit a grounder to the ULL shortstop. Her throw went wide of second base for an error and it allowed two Tech runners to score. A Rush RBI single made it 3-0 in favor of the Jackets.

In the sixth inning, Yee hit a two-run homer that plated Weseman. Yee got another RBI in the seventh to give Tech a commanding lead.

In their last game of the Classic, Tech needed eight innings to beat Iowa 9-8.

Rush pitched both games on Sunday and against Iowa she had three strikeouts and only two of the eight runs were earned.

Tech started the game off sloppily with four errors through the first three innings of the game and Iowa led 5-0.

The Jackets managed to get two runners into scoring position with no outs to start the fourth inning, and junior first baseman Kristine Priebe hit a sac-fly to put the Jackets on the scoreboard. Kuzma then bunted home a run, and freshman designated player Caitlin Jordan added an RBI single to pull the Jackets within two.

The two teams traded runs for the remainder of the game until the Jackets finally took the lead in the eighth inning thanks to a two-run double by Weseman.

In the bottom half of the inning, Iowa got a quick single and Tech committed its sixth error of the game putting the Hawkeyes within one run, but they couldn’t get the tying run.

Yee’s performance earned her a third consecutive ACC Player of the Week award. She hit .545 with six homers and a 1.364 slugging percentage last week.