Buy, Awald Twice Propel Jackets over 49ers – Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech softball (35-12, 11-10 ACC) downed Charlotte (26-19, 7-11 C-USA) twice on Saturday at Mewborn Field, clinching the series with the doubleheader sweep with an extra-inning, 3-2 victory in game one and an 8-2 triumph in game two.

In game one’s a pitcher’s duel, the Jackets rallied with a pair of late runs to send the game to extras before walking it off in the bottom of the 10th. Despite the 49ers delivering the first blow in game two, Tech used a pair of three-run innings to cruise past Charlotte in game two.

Graduate first baseman Tricia Awald highlighted the day’s accomplishments by taking sole possession of first place in program history in career doubles as her two extra-base hits moved her total tally to 55 career doubles. Junior catcher Emma Kauf made Tech history in her own right, moving up to a tie for second in doubles through a season in Yellow Jacket history with 20 on the year.

Awald led the Jackets at the dish through the day batting .600 as she went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, and RBI and a walk. Kauf had the most production at the plate for the White and Gold, piling up five RBI as she picked up four hits including her two doubles. Five total Jackets batted .400 or better throughout the day.

The Jackets pitched by committee through both contests as junior hurler Blake Neleman saw the most action, getting the start in game one and tossing eight innings, tallying seven strikeouts while allowing just two runs on three hits. Fellow junior right hander Chandler Dennis maintained a flawless ERA through four innings of work as she earned Tech’s first win of the day. Senior slinger Lexi Ray got the game two win, also holding the 49ers scoreless. Freshman pitcher Sophia Voyles started game two, throwing 3 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on two hits.

Game One: Charlotte got on the board first, knocking a two-run homerun in the top of the third. Georgia Tech cut that lead in half in to bottom of the fifth as sophomore shortstop Jin Sileo and senior left fielder Kennedy Cowden striped back-to-back singles, making way for an RBI single off the bat of sophomore third baseman Mallorie Black. The Jackets later evened the tally at two apiece in the bottom of the sixth as Awald first singled, allowing freshman pinch runner Madison Dobbins to later scamper home on a 49er miscue. Neither side managed to plate a decisive run in the seventh as the game carried over into extras, reaching the 10th. In the bottom of the frame, the Yellow Jackets rallied with small ball. Sileo led things off with a bunt single, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a wild pitch, setting up a walk-off, RBI single by Kauf to seal a 3-2 Tech victory in 10.

Game Two: Charlotte once again struck first, this time hitting a leadoff home run to open the game. Georgia Tech responded in the bottom of the second, catapulting in front with three runs of its own with a flurry of singles. Freshman right fielder Grace Connelly led off the half inning with the first single, followed by another by senior second baseman Bailee Zeitler before freshman center fielder Ella Edgmon drove in the first run to even the tally. A walk later, Kauf stepped in and sent home two more with a single of her own to push Tech ahead, 3-1.

Charlotte drew back within one on a wild pitch in the top of the fourth, but Georgia Tech got the run back in the bottom half. As the bases were loaded on a walk, hit by pitch and double courtesy of Kauf, a sacrifice fly pushed Kauf home to put the Jackets back on top by two.

Georgia Tech took control in the following frame, stringing together a flurry of hits in the bottom of the fifth. The White and Gold loaded the bases on back-to-back singles and a walk to open the half inning, allowing Kauf’s subsequent double to plate two more Jackets before a sac fly by Awald increased Georgia Tech’s lead to 7-2. The Yellow Jackets added a final score in the bottom of the six as Sileo came home on a wild pitch following a pair of singles and a walk. Neleman put a bow on the victory in the top of the seventh, securing the 8-2, series-clinching triumph in game two.

Game Notes

  • Georgia Tech has now won 10 of its last 11 games.
  • The White and Gold own eight consecutive victories.
  • The Yellow Jackets have claimed five walk-off wins on the season as well as four extra-inning victories.
  • Awald took sole possession of first place in career doubles in Tech history on the day, lacing a pair to move to 55 total.
  • Already the nation’s leader in walks and third in program history in walks through a season, Awald added one more for 47 this year.
  • Kauf’s two doubles boosted her from a tie for fourth to a tie for second in Georgia Tech history in doubles through a season as she’s up to 20 on the year, leading the ACC and placing second in the NCAA coming into the day.
  • Dennis earned her 15th win of the season, maintaining the team lead boasting a 15-4 overall record.
  • Ray picked up her third win of the year aiding the Jackets in their game two victory.

Up Next

Georgia Tech will wrap up Senior Weekend with its final home contest, concluding the series against Charlotte on Sunday at 1 pm at Mewborn Field.

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The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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