THE FLATS -- Georgia Tech softball (25-21, 10-8 ACC) swept Saturday's doubleheader against North Carolina (27-23, 14-7 ACC) at Mewborn Field to come back and take the series two games to one. The Jackets uprooted the Tar Heels 5-2 in game one before winning the series finale 6-5.
Tech won its fourth ACC series of the season for the first time since 2012, the year of Georgia Tech's last ACC Tournament title. The Jackets reached the 25-win mark for the first time since 2013 -- which was head coach Aileen Morales' last year on The Flats as an assistant.
Head coach Aileen Morales says:
"I cannot say enough about the resiliency of our team today. We battled for this series win, and I am just so proud of how we competed. Anderson threw her heart out, and our hitters came through in the clutch. We played some great softball against a quality opponent and pitcher."
Game one: GT 5, UNC 2
The Tar Heels got on the board first. With the score at 0-0 in the top of the third and senior Emily Anderson in the circle, North Carolina used two hits and two stolen bases to put runners on second and third. A well-placed single near the right field line plated two, giving North Carolina the 2-0 lead.
The Jackets responded in the bottom of the third. With one out, senior Draven Sonnon sent her ninth dinger of the season off the scoreboard in left field to bring Tech within one at 2-1.
Tech turned it on in the bottom of the fifth. Trailing 2-1, Sonnon took a pitch to her back to reach base. Freshman Cameron Stanford reached on a fielder's choice with Sonnon out at second on the play. Junior Katie Krzus got hit by a pitch, taking first and moving Stanford to second where freshman Breanna Roper entered to pinch run. With two outs and runners on first and second, sophomore Rebecca Prairie singled up the middle, plating Roper and landing herself at second on the throw. Sophomore Crosby Huckabay stepped up with runners on second and third and rocketed a triple to right field, scoring Krzus and Prairie to give Tech the lead at 4-2. The hit was Huckabay's first career triple.
The Jackets added another to their tally in the bottom of the sixth. Still leading 4-2, junior Kaylee Ellebracht came to the plate as a pinch hitter and singled through the left side to reach base. Freshman Jaydra von Behren came in to pinch run at first. Back at the top of the order with two outs, Sonnon sent a triple to right field, her third of the season, bringing around von Behren to add the final tally for the Jackets. Anderson came away with the 5-2 victory to tie the series.
Game two: GT 6, UNC 5
The Tar Heels came out hot, using four hits off freshman Naomi Dickerson and an error by the Jackets to take an early lead at 3-0 in the top of the first.
The Jackets chipped away at the lead in the second. Sonnon drew a walk to reach base, advancing to second as Krzus got hit by another pitch. A fly ball in foul territory moved Sonnon to third, who scored on a single off the bat of Huckabay. With runners on first and second, freshman Lilly Hooper doubled to right field, plating Krzus from second to bring Tech within one at 3-2.
Sophomore Brooke Barfield came into the circle for the Jackets in the top of the second. She held the score at 3-2. Tech tied it in the second. Ellebracht got hit by a pitch to reach base, advancing to second on a single to left field from senior Malea Bell. Freshman Skye Webb entered to pinch run at second for Ellebracht. Sonnon drew her second walk in as many at bats to load the bases. Stanford drew a walk to bring in Webb from third and tie the game at 3-3.
Back-to-back home runs in the top of the third gave the Tar Heels back the lead at 5-3.
Once again, Tech responded. Trailing in the bottom of the third, Sonnon drew her third walk of the game to reach base and advancing to second on a hard hit single to third by Krzus. Prairie smashed her first career triple to right field, scoring Sonnon and Krzus to tie the game at 5-5.
Anderson made her second appearance of the day in the top of the fifth. She held the score at 5-5 heading into the bottom half of the inning. Three straight walks for the Jackets juiced the bases with Bell on third, Sonnon on second and Stanford on first. Krzus dropped one in just beyond the infield to score Bell and give Tech the lead at 6-5. Anderson would hold on for her second win of the day, taking the series with a 6-5 win in game three.
The Jackets head to Jacksonville State for a midweek matchup on Tuesday, April 24 at 5 p.m. CT.