The Georgia Tech softball team picked up a much needed sweep of the Virginia Cavaliers.
Game 1: 9-5 win over Virginia
With a game time temperature at 41 degrees the night was cold, and for the first 4 innings so were the Yellow Jacket’s bats. But in the top of the fifth, Virginia’s pitcher was ejected for putting a foreign substance on the ball. With a couple of walks and a couple of errors the Jackets tied the game at 2-2 then Kaylee Ellebracht got the ball out of the infield with a 2 RBI single to give the Jackets a 4-2 lead.
After the Cavaliers answered with a run, Draven Sonnon connected on a 2-RBI double to make it 6-3 Tech, Becca Prairie would double home Sonnon to make it 7-3. A sac fly and another Sonnon double brought in 2 more runs to put the Jackets lead at 9-3. The Cavaliers would add 2 more but the Jackets would win 9-5. Emily Anderson threw the complete game and got the win. Giving up 4 earned runs and striking out six.
Game 2: 18-9 (6) win over Virginia
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Falling behind early, the Jackets faced a 3-1 deficit in the 3rd inning. Draven Sonnon came up big with a 2 run home run to tie the game at 3-3. A wild pitch and another big hit from Sonnon, a triple this time gave the Jackets a 6-3 lead an error scored Sonnon from third making it 7-3.
The Cavaliers picked up three runs to answer but Tech’s bats answered back when Breanna Roper tripled home 2 to make the score 10-6 Tech. Cameron Stanford doubled home Roper to make it 11-6, then two singles and a walk brought home 3 more. With the score 14-6 Kelsey Chisholm hit a grand slam to put Tech up 18-6. The Cavaliers were able to score three more runs but it wasn’t enough to avoid the five-inning run rule.
Game 3: 8-5 win over Virginia
Once again the Yellow Jackets found themselves in a hole early trailing 4-0. A walk with the bases loaded made it 4-1 but the Cavaliers answered with a run to make it 5-1. Cameron Stanford came up in the 5th with a solo home run to cut the lead to 5-2 followed by back to back errors allowing a run to score to make it 5-3. Then to make it a big inning Crosby Huckabay hit a 3 run home run to give the Jackets a 6-5 lead. The Jackets added 2 more insurance runs in the 7th and shut down the Cavaliers to take away the win 8-5
It wasn’t the prettiest sweep ever, but starting off conference play with a sweep for the first time since 2011 was huge for this team. We didn’t see the Emily Anderson performance we are used to in the games she pitched, but then again coming into the series with a sub 1.00 ERA are some pretty big standards. What she did do was pitch both complete games allowing the Jacket’s coaching staff to save the rest of staff for the remaining games.
The Cavaliers had to use three pitchers in game 1 so the Jackets had the clear advantage going forward seeing a good chunk of their pitching staff. While the pitching wasn’t at it’s best, the Jacket’s offense was. The Jackets scored 34 runs in their 3 games. Tech also played overall solid defense, not perfect but they stayed away from the errors that took them out of games in the past.
Any time a team can excel in two out of the three phases of the game they’ll put themselves in a chance to win, that’s what the Yellow Jackets did. The Jackets have won 11 of the last 13 and carry momentum into the next weekend of conference play. Before continuing in the conference however the Jackets host the highly ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday at 6:00pm.