Feb. 20, 2013
THE FLATS –The Georgia Tech softball team fell to Mercer, 10-9, Wednesday night at Mewborn Field. The Yellow Jackets fall to 8-3 overall and the Bears improve to 6-5.
Junior Ashley Thomas led the Jackets going 3-for-3 with two RBI, three runs and two walks to go along with a double and a triple – just a home run short of the cycle. Junior Alysha Rudnik went 2-for-2 with two runs, two RBI and two walks with a double and a home run.
Mercer put up three runs on three hits in the first inning and added one more in the second. In Tech’s first at bat of the game, Thomas stroked a triple to deep center field – her second triple of the season. She scored on a balk by Mercer starter Kristen Bretscher.
A. Thomas was also responsible for two more Georgia Tech runs in the second inning with a double that scored Maddie Lionberger who reached base on a walk and Chelsie Thomas who ran out a bunt. A solo homer off the bat of Rudnik tied the game at four.
Mercer broke the tie in the fifth with a leadoff home run, but Tech knotted the score at five when A. Thomas hit a leadoff single, stole second and crossed the plate on a double from Rudnik.
The Bears put up two runs in the sixth inning, but Tech put up a four-spot in the bottom of the inning to go ahead by two, 9-7. Katie Johnsky doubled to lead things off. Three consecutive walks to A. Thomas, Rudnik and Hope Rush with two outs scored Johnsky.
Karly Fullem was hit by a pitch to bring in A. Thomas and Rush scored on an error by the Mercer shortstop as Courtney Ziese’s grounder went right under her glove.
Tech squandered its two-run lead as the Bears tacked on three runs in the seventh.
The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Rush grounded out to first to end the game.
A trio of pitchers saw time in the circle for Tech. Karly Fullem got her second start of the season. She was replaced by Kylie Kleinschmidt who pitched the majority of the game at 4.0 innings, but it was Rush (4-3) who took the loss as she threw the last 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits.
Kerri Nidiffer (3-4) earned the win for Mercer.
The Jackets take their first road trip of the season to Cathedral City, Calif. for the Mary Nutter Classic Friday-Sunday. Tech faces solid competition in the tournament with matchups that include two Top 10 teams in No. 5 Florida and No. 8 California.