Virginia Softball Defeats Georgia Tech To Advance To Championship Game Of ACC Tournament
May 10, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Virginia softball team scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Georgia Tech Saturday evening (May 10) at the ACC Championship at the Seminole Softball Complex. With the victory, the Cavaliers advance to the championship game of the ACC Tournament and will play top-seeded and 10th-ranked Florida State at noon Sunday. UVa improved to 37-25 on the season with the victory, while third-seeded Georgia Tech falls to 36-23. The Cavaliers began the day with a 6-3 win over Maryland.
Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as third-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) led off the game with a walk and moved to second on first-year center fielder Jessica Taylor’s (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy) sacrifice bunt. Field came around to score on second baseman Sara Larquier’s (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs) double to the wall in left center field. The Yellow Jackets answered with a single tally in the top of the second. Katie Donovan hit a one-out double and scored on Soraya Reddick’s double to the gap in left center.
Georgia Tech broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth inning. With one out, Amy Hosier ripped a double to left center and scored on Tara Knudsen’s two-out single to left field. The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 3-1 with another run in the sixth inning. Donovan hit her second one-out double of the game and scored on Reddick’s single down the left field line.
The Cavaliers came back to take a 4-3 lead with three unearned runs in the bottom half of the sixth. Larquier led off the inning with a single to left and second-year catcher Jenn Wynn (Herndon, Va./Herndon) followed with a walk. Fourth-year Katie Weinberg (Reston, Va./South Lakes) then entered the game as a pinch runner for Wynn. Fourth-year left fielder Johanna Kaiser (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro) attempted to sacrifice the runners to second and third, but Georgia Tech pitcher Jessica Sallinger threw wide to first base, allowing Larquier to score. Weinberg then scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 3-3 with Kaiser moving to third. The Cavaliers then attempted a suicide squeeze, but the attempt failed and Kaiser was caught in a rundown. Georgia Tech catcher Tasha Waugh’s throw hit Kaiser in the back and dribbled into shallow left field and Kaiser took off for home and slid under Sallinger’s tag to score the go-ahead run.
Georgia Tech threatened in the seventh by putting two runners on base, but first-year Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon) struck out Lindsay Wood for the final out of the game. Horn pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn her third victory of the tournament. Horn, who improved to 17-11 on the season, gave up two hits, walked two batters and struck out one. First-year pitcher Christina Grimm (Los Osos, Calif./Morro Bay) hurled the first 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits. She struck out four batters while issuing three walks. Georgia Tech’s Sallinger (21-15) was saddled with the loss as she gave up three unearned on one hit in two innings of relief work. She struck out three batters and walked two. Erin Voeltz pitched the first four innings and allowed one run on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
The Cavaliers improved to 3-1 in the tournament with the two victories Saturday. Florida State is undefeated in the tourney, thus Virginia needs to beat the Seminoles twice Sunday to win the ACC title.