The Georgia Tech softball team is returning to the ACC Softball Tournament for the first time since 2014, and they timed it up perfectly as this season they are also the host school of the event. The Yellow Jackets have earned the six seed in the bracket, and will play the three seed North Carolina on Thursday at 7:30.
Of course in a perfect world the Jackets would have loved to win the coastal division and be the two seed this weekend, but all things considered their placement in the bracket is favorable for a couple of reasons.
First they open against a team they won the season series against. Tech took two out of three from the Heels earlier this year in Atlanta so confidence despite being the lower seed shouldn’t be an issue. Secondly most of the teams Tech hasn’t seen this year are in the top half of the bracket which means they’d have to get through Florida State before Tech would have to deal with them.
Another positive of earning the six seed is not having to play on Wednesday. The 7-10 seeds all played Wednesday making their journey to the championship that much harder.
The two seed is Pittsburgh who beat the Jackets two out of three games in Pittsburgh this season. Pitt plays Virginia Tech in the game before the Jackets. The winner of the two contests will play in the semifinals on Friday.
What do the Jackets need to do to win in the tournament? First, the stars have to shine. Katie Krzus has lead the team in a lot of offensive categories this season and the junior will need to continue to lead the offense this weekend. Draven Sonnon is the senior leader of the offense, leads the team in home runs and runs the defense in center field, the youth of the team take their cues from her so she needs to perform well in the tournament.
Emily Anderson needs to be an ace. It is true that Brooke Barfield has taken steps in the right direction and has certainty proven to be a pitcher the coaching staff can count on, that being said Emily Anderson is without doubt the leader of the pitching staff. The Jackets will go as far as Anderson carries them over the weekend.
If I were to objectively pick out the tournament I’d pick North Carolina to play in the championship game against Florida State.
The Tar Heels are more experienced in the tournament setting than Pittsburgh or Georgia Tech. That might give them the edge they need in high pressure situations. That being said on paper Tech is the team with more talent throughout their lineup.
If they get past UNC they have to feel confident against Pittsburgh’s ace. Tech scored 7 of their total 12 runs of the series against Pittsburgh against their number one pitcher.