March 20, 2013
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Georgia Tech softball team (14-15) scored seven runs over the sixth and seventh innings Wednesday afternoon to rally back from a 3-2 deficit and defeat Southeast Missouri, 9-4. Alysha Rudnik and Hope Rush both homered in the contest as the Jackets snapped a four-game losing skid.
“We had more confidence at the plate and were more aggressive,” head coach Sharon Perkins said. “We were swinging at better pitches. We had longer at bats today and I think they worked the count really well, and found better pitches to hit. We were really impressive on defense and made a lot of great plays defensively.”
With two outs and the bases loaded courtesy of two walks and a single in the top of the sixth, Courtney Ziese hit a fly ball to left field that was dropped by the Redhawks’ left fielder and allowed two runs to score. The error proved to be costly as two more runs scored in the inning on a two RBI-single off the bat of Ashley Thomas to give the Jackets a 6-3 lead.
Tech tacked on three runs in the top of the next frame. Rush led off with a solo shot over the right-field wall for her 10th long ball of the season and second in as many games. Katie Johnsky followed with her third walk of the game and Karly Fullem singled.
Hayley Downs stepped to the plate and rocked a line drive up the middle, scoring Johnsky. The relay throw from the outfield was off target, allowing pinch runner Kaitlin Kates to score and giving Tech the 9-4 advantage.
The Redhawks (8-13) were first to get on the board. Leadoff batter Kaitlin Zink walked in the first inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Alexis Anderson.
Georgia Tech countered in the third to take the lead 2-1. Ashley Thomas was hit by a pitch and Rudnik smoked a Taylor Cowan offering over the right-field wall for her fifth round-tripper on the season.
“Alysha Rudnik really got things going offensively for us,” Perkins said. “Hope Rush pitched through not the most ideal weather conditions with the cold, but she battled through and hit her locations.”
SEMO retaliated with a two-run homer of its own off the bat of Cowan in the bottom of the same frame, as the Redhawks regained the lead, 3-2, until the sixth inning.
Fullem led the Jackets, going 2-for-4 with a run and Johnsky was 1-for-1 with three walks and two runs.
Rush (7-9) allowed four runs on five hits with a strikeout in a complete-game effort to pick up the victory.
Redhawk starter Cowan (5-7) suffered the loss, pitching the first six innings with six runs, two of them earned, on four hits. Lauren Reinagel tossed the remaining frame with three runs on three hits.
The Jackets wrap up their six-game road trip through the Midwest with a three-game series at No. 7 Missouri. Action begins with a Saturday doubleheader at 3 p.m. ET and the series finale is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.