THE FLATS – Junior Alysha Rudnik went 6-for-7 (.857) with four runs, three doubles and a home run Friday to lead the Georgia Tech softball team (17-17, 4-1 ACC) past the NC State Wolfpack (14-16-1, 2-5 ACC) by scores of 7-2 and 7-5. The series finale and annual pink game is slated for Saturday at 1 p.m.
Rudnik was a force at the plate in the doubleheader, going 3-for-4 in game one with two doubles and the long ball, and 3-for-3 with two runs and another double in the night cap. Teammate Ashley Thomas was 3-for-6 on the day with five runs, four of which came in game one alone.
“They were really fun to watch. Ashley made a lot of great plays and Rudnik was just a beast out there,” head coach Sharon Perkins said. “We put it on them all day today. Rudnik is tough to pitch to and Hope [Rush] looked really good out there. We started stringing some hits together.”
Game one – Georgia Tech 7, NC State 2 The Pack jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening stanza thanks to a leadoff solo-shot by Renada Davis and an RBI-single off the bat of Hanna Sommer to score Chelsea Tate.
Tech cut the lead in half in the bottom of the frame as Rush’s base-hit scored Ashley Thomas. Rush held the Wolfpack scoreless through the remaining six innings, scattering four hits over the stretch to pick up her ninth victory on the season.
The Jackets knotted the game 2-2 in the third. With one out, Ashley Thomas ran out a bunt and scored on Rudnik’s first double of the game.
Tech poured it on in the fifth and sixth innings with five runs on four hits. Rudnik’s second double plated Ashley Thomas and a single through the middle courtesy of Morgan Taylor scored Rudnik and Rush.
Rudnik came through again in the sixth with a two-run shot over the right-field wall for her sixth home run on the season to give Tech the final 7-2 advantage.
NC State’s Emily Weiman (12-14) suffered the loss, throwing six innings with seven runs on nine hits.
Game two – Georgia Tech 7, NC State 5 Tech wasted little time before getting on the board in game two. With one out, Rudnik singled and Rush stepped to the plate and crushed a first-pitch offering from Chelsea Stanfield over the left-field wall to give the Jackets a 2-0 advantage.
An RBI-single from Rudnik scored Chelsea Thomas in the third and Tech held a 3-0 lead before tacking on four more runs in the fourth.
Hayley Downs singled, Ashley Thomas was hit by a pitch and Rudnik walked the bases loaded. With two outs, Taylor hit a bases-clearing double. Johnsky then stepped to the plate and hit her team-leading 10th double of the season to plate Taylor and give Tech a 7-0 lead.
NC State made a comeback in the sixth inning with five runs on five hits. The Pack laced together two hits and Tate drew a walk from Tech starter Karly Fullem to load the bases with no outs. Two runs scored on a single by Caitlin Dent, one more crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly and the fourth run scored on an RBI single off the bat of Lana Van Dyken.
Rush entered the game to relieve Fullem with the bases loaded, two outs and NC State closing in on the Jackets, 7-4. Rush walked one run in and then forced pinch hitter Katie Mansilla to pop up to end the threat.
Fullem (3-0) tossed 5.2 innings with five runs on eight hits. Rush pitched the remaining 1.1 innings and did not allow a run to pick up her third save on the season.
Stanfield (2-2) endured the loss, pitching five innings with seven runs on 10 hits.