Softball NCAA Regional ACCtion: Saturday, May 22

May 22, 2010

Georgia Tech Downs Auburn 4-1 To Stay Alive in NCAA Tournament

ATLANTA - Sophomore Jessica Coan improved to 15-1 with four innings of two-hit relief as the No. 8 Georgia Tech Softball team (51-10) defeated Auburn (31-26), 4-1, in an elimination game of the NCAA Softball Atlanta regional Saturday evening at Mewborn Field.

The Yellow Jackets will now play No. 24 Oregon Sunday at 1 p.m. in the regional final. The Jackets, who lost to the Ducks, 11-2 earlier on Saturday, would need to win twice in order to secure a spot in next weekend's Super Regionals. Tomorrow's 1 p.m. contest, as well as the "if necessary game," will be broadcast live on ESPN HD.

Coan came into the game in relief of Adkins in the fourth inning of a 2-1 game and proceeded to throw four innings of two-hit ball. She walked three and struck out seven. Redshirt Jen Yee was 3-for-4 and hit a two-run home run, her 28th of the year.

Georgia Tech broke through first with a run in the top of the second inning against Auburn pitcher Angel Bunner. Freshman Hope Rush walked on four pitches to lead off the inning and then senior pinch runner Kelly Eppinger went to second base on an illegal pitch and came around to score on a RBI double to the alley in right-center field by sophomore Danielle Dike.

UNC Falls To Washington, 1-0, In NCAA Tournament

SEATTLE, Wash. - The University of North Carolina (41-19) lost, 1-0, to the defending National Champion Washington Huskies (47-6) in the NCAA Tournament's Seattle Regional on Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 1,794 spectators. Carolina senior Danielle Spaulding pitched all seven innings for Carolina, yielded only one run, which was unearned, and struck out 12 batters during the game. Senior Christine Knauer and sophomore catcher Ally Blake both singled for the Tar Heels.

Today's game featured the top two active leaders in strike outs per seven innings in NCAA history with Spaulding and Danielle Lawrie. The two starters have fanned batters during their careers at an 11.7 and 11.3 punch out per seven innings ratio, respectively. The two aces rank fourth and sixth all-time in the category.

The two starting pitchers stayed to form and struck out a combined 23 batters during the game. Lawrie, who received the win and advanced her record to 37-2 this season, struck out eleven batters and only allowed two hits in the shut out. Spaulding, the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year, struck out 12 Huskies and only scattered two hits.

North Carolina vs. winner of Nebraska/North Dakota State -- Game time TBA

Terps Close Out NCAA Weekend

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland softball team's season ended Saturday afternoon when it beat Syracuse 4-1 in its first game of the day in NCAA Regionals and fell to Fordham 5-2 in its second. The Terps (34-24, 8-11) earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over 10 years this year. It was also the first time the Terrapins were selected to host one of the 16 regional sites.

Junior Marisha Branson led the Terps with four RBI on the day. She knocked in two with a single in the first game against Syracuse and hit a solo home run in the game against Fordham.

In the Syracuse game, the Terps took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With two outs, freshman Sara Acosta and senior Alex Schultz each drew walks from pitcher Brittany Gardner. Junior Kerry Hickey loaded the bases with a single through the left side. Branson drove in Acosta and Schultz with a single to right. Hickey scored on a throwing error by Orange shortstop Morgan Nandin.

Virginia's Historic Season Ends With 7-4 Loss to Cardinals

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Virginia softball team (34-23) ended its historic season Saturday with a 7-4 loss to Louisville (41-18) in an elimination game in the NCAA Knoxville Regional.

The Cavaliers made its NCAA debut Friday and defeated the Cardinals 1-0 before falling twice Saturday, to Tennessee 11-2, and to Louisville.

With the win, U of L advances to Sunday's championship round, where it will face Tennessee for the right to move on to the Super Regional. The Cardinals will have to beat the Lady Vols twice, whereas one win for Tennessee will clinch the berth.

On Saturday, three Virginia seniors - Nicole Koren, Abby Snyder and Sarah Tacke - played their final games as Cavaliers.

Louisville outhit Virginia 9-7 in the contest. Junior Lauren McCaskey led the way with a double and a triple while Alex Skinkis, Giannina Cipolloni, Taylor Williams, Snyder and Tacke each had singles.

Virginia Drops 11-2 Decision to No. 15 Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Virginia softball team (34-22) dropped an 11-2 decision to 15th-ranked Tennessee (44-13) Saturday as NCAA Regional play continued from Lee Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Lady Vols outhit Virginia 15-7 in the contest. Freshman Alex Skinkis was 3-for-4 at the plate with three singles for the Orange and Blue while Giannina Cipolloni, Alison Pittman, Lauren McCaskey and Abby Snyder also singled.

Freshman pitcher Melanie Mitchell took the loss, throwing five complete innings and allowing eight runs on 10 hits. She also finished with seven strikeouts and three walks. Teammate Stephanie Coates came on to toss the final two innings; she gave up three runs on five hits with a walk.

Florida State's Season Comes To Close

ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 24 Florida State softball team's 2010 season came to a close Saturday at the UGA Softball Stadium in Athens, Ga.

The Seminoles (44-18) were eliminated from the NCAA Softball Championship after a 5-2 loss to host Georgia and then 3-2 setback to Radford.

Junior Sarah Hamilton started and took the loss to the No. 9 Bulldogs (45-11). The Tallahassee native tossed three and 2/3 innings of six-hit ball in that game.

In both games, senior Terese Gober came on in relief. She took the loss to the Highlanders (38-16) after giving up two runs on three hits.

Offensively, freshman Tiffani Brown knocked in FSU's lone RBI in the UGA game on her team-best two hits. Juniors Ashley Stager and Robin Ahrberg had the two RBIs against Radford. Senior Carly Wynn, Brown and Ahrberg all had two hits in the 'Noles' final game of the year.

Just as they did a day earlier in a 10-1 run-rule victory over the Highlanders, FSU began Saturday's game at a torrid pace.

Oregon Slugs Way Past Georgia Tech, 11-2

ATLANTA - Oregon finished with 12 hits on its way to an 11-2 win over No. 8 nationally-seeded Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon at Shirley Mewborn Field.

"That's fast-pitch softball," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "You don't know what's going to happen. We capitalized on opportunities today. If we didn't get those runs I think it would have been a lot different. It was good to keep scoring and putting pressure on Georgia Tech."

The Ducks Jessica Moore surrendered a pair of runs in the first inning but set down the final 13 batters to lead her team into Sunday's regional final game.

The Yellow Jackets got on the board early, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Jen Yee, who walked to lead off the game, scored her 90th run of the season to move in to fourth place on the NCAA all-time list for runs scored in a season.