Softball cruises past BC at home but stumbles at UGA

On April 17-18 the Tech softball team hosted a series against ACC-rival Boston College in the final home series for redshirt senior second basman Jen Yee and senior outfielder Kelly Eppinger. The Jackets clipped the Eagles in all three games, but Tech traveled to UGA later that week and lost 6-3 on Wednesday.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Jackets held a ceremony honoring Yee and Eppinger. Freshman pitcher Hope Rush then started her 24th game of the season. Rush pitched five scoreless innings and only allowed two hits in leading the Jackets to a 9-0 win.

Rush started the game by retiring the first three Eagle batters in order, including a strikeout to end the first inning.

Tech wasted little time in rewarding Rush for her strong first inning by scoring two runs in the first inning. Yee led off the inning with a single to right field and followed that up by stealing second base. Sophomore catcher Kate Kuzma intended to sacrifice bunt in order to move Yee to third. However, BC was unable to get Kuzma out at first and the Jackets had runners on the corners with nobody out. Sophomore shortstop Kelsi Weseman brought in Yee from third on a sac fly and junior first baseman Kristine Priebe singled to score Tech’s second run, but a pair of strikeouts ended the inning.

Rush retired the Eagles in the second without much trouble and the Jackets added to their lead in the bottom of the frame. Priebe and Rush hit back-to-back homers, and sophomore third baseman Danielle Dike added a two-run homer of her own as Tech went up 9-0, a lead they would never relinquish. The game was called after five innings, and the Jackets picked up the victory.

In the later game on Saturday, Tech scored 11 runs on nine hits and won the game 11-3.

Junior pitcher Kristen Adkins started the game for the Jackets and got into a bit of trouble in the first inning. Adkins allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base on a bunt single and BC took advantage, getting an RBI single to pull ahead 1-0.

Yee countered with a leadoff homer for Tech to tie the game at one, and BC got a solo homer in the top of the second as the momentum shifted back and forth.

Tech re-took the lead in the bottom of the third inning with a nine-run rally. After the leadoff hitter grounded out, Priebe was hit by a pitch to bring the tying to the plate. Rush walked to move Priebe into scoring position and Sinclair singled to score Tech’s first run of the inning. After an error, a walk, and another hit batter, Priebe came up for the second time in the inning and hit another three-run homer.

Trailing 10-3 in the top of the fifth inning, BC tried to get something going as a sophomore pitcher Jessica Coan gave up a leadoff walk. The Eagles followed her mistake with a double to put two runners into scoring position with no outs. Coan managed to get out of the inning unscathed by getting two strikeouts and a fly out to end the inning and the game.

After picking up the win on Saturday, Coan started Sunday’s game for the Jackets and pitched five innings and only gave up three hits. Coan had a career high with 13 strikeouts as the Jackets finished off the sweep with a 4-0 win. Tech used small consistent scoring innings to give Coan the lead early.

Yee led off the first inning with a single and Weseman brought her home with a single, and Adkins homered in the second inning to give the Jackets a 2-0 lead.

Weseman homered in the third and Yee hit her ACC record 24th home run in the fourth to put the Jackets up 4-0, and the score remained that way to the end.

Tech finished the week by traveling to No. 11 Georgia for a mid-week game on Wednesday, April 21. UGA ended Tech’s nine game winning streak by defeating the Jackets 6-3, picking up their second win over Tech this year.

Coan started the game for the Jackets and she ran into trouble early in the game. In the bottom of the first inning, UGA leadoff hitter Taylor Schlopy hit a homer to give the Bulldogs the lead. Another RBI later in the inning gave UGA a 2-0 advantage.

Coan got into trouble again in the second inning but she managed to escape a big inning and only gave up a sac fly RBI.

After leaving runners on base in the third inning, the Jackets finally got onto the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Priebe hit a one-out single, and Rush walked to give Tech a runner in scoring position. Sinclair homered to left, tying the game at three.

Rush relieved Coan in the fourth inning, and the Bulldogs re-took the lead in the fifth. Schlopy walked to lead off the inning and a triple sandwiched between two singles allowed the Bulldogs to score three runs and hang on for the 6-3 win.