THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech softball team won both of its games on day two of the GT-Kennesaw State Invitational Saturday to improve to 4-0 on the season. The Yellow Jackets defeated Missouri State, 8-7, before slipping past Coastal Carolina, 2-1.
Game 1 - Georgia Tech 8, Missouri State 7 The Jackets out hit the Bears 11-9 in the game, but it was Missouri State that jumped out to a 4-1 lead after two innings.
Down by three runs heading into the bottom of the third, leadoff batter A. Thomas drew a walk, stole second and scored on a shot by Rudnik to right field. With two outs and a full count Rush ripped a two-run homer to tie the game, 4-4.
In four games on the season, A. Thomas has four stolen bases on five attempts and sophomore Chelsie Thomas is a perfect 6-for-6.
The Bears threatened to rally back in the top of the fourth with runners on second and third with no outs, but the Jackets retired the next three batters capped off by a clutch catch in the outfield. Centerfielder Hayley Downs chased down a fly ball all the way to the warning track, made the catch and slammed into the wall with an audible pop to end the inning and preserve the 4-4 tie.
The Jackets took a 6-4 lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and the Bears countered with two runs in the sixth.
With the score knotted, 6-6, the Jackets had the bases loaded in the sixth thanks to a single by Morgan Taylor, a bunt by Downs and an A. Thomas single. Rudnik’s single sent pinch runner Kaitlin Kates home and the Missouri State pitcher Chelsea Jones pegged Courtney Ziese to walk in what would be the winning run.
The Bears mustered one run in the top of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough as the Jackets held on for the 8-7 win.
The Jackets used three pitchers in the contest with relief pitcher Kylie Kleinschmidt earning her first win of the season, pitching four innings with two earned runs. Rush wrapped up the game and earned her first save of the season.
Game 2 - Georgia Tech 2, Coastal Carolina 1 The Jackets left seven runners on base in the first game and nine runners on base in game two. Tech got on the board first as a Rush singled in A. Thomas who reached on a fielder’s choice.
Coastal Carolina tied the game as Kiana Quolas reached base on a double, took third on a passed ball and scored on a Jazmin Daigle single.
The Jackets were able to sneak ahead and regain the lead in the fourth inning when Karly Fullem reached base on an error by the Chanticleers’ shortstop. Kelly Delashmit entered the game to pinch run, took second and third on passed balls and scored on a Hayley Downs ground out to the second baseman.
Rush pitched the full seven innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run for her second win of the year.
Coastal Carolina’s Morgan Mastriania took the loss, going 5.1 innings with five hits, two runs and four walks.
The Jackets wrap up action at the Georgia Tech – Kennesaw State Invitational Sunday at 1 p.m. against Coastal Carolina. Ashley Jones, who is an accomplished Special Olympian that competes in the sports of figure skating, golf, track and field, and cross country skiing, will be throwing out the first pitch.