May 22, 2010

ATLANTA - The No. 8 nationally-seeded Georgia Tech Softball team (50-9) hit three homeruns on its way to 5-3 win over Jacksonville State (30-18) Friday evening at Shirley Mewborn Field.

"I thought we swung the bat pretty well tonight," Georgia Tech head coach Sharon Perkins said. "We had a great atmosphere behind us with ESPN here; with the fans coming out and being vocal. Tonight was a great way to start the regional for us."

The host Yellow Jackets used three pitchers, including one and a third scoreless innings from freshman Hope Rush, who earned the save, in the victory.

Tech scored two runs in the first inning to take an early lead over the Gamecocks. Kristen Adkins, who started the game for the Jackets, hit her sixth homerun of the season to put her team up 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning.

The Gamecocks got on the board in the top of the third, taking advantage of back-to-back two-out walks by Adkins and an RBI base hit by Nikki Prier.

Jacksonville State's Hillary Downs cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 3-2 when she lifted her 11th home run of the season to lead off the top of the fourth. With two on and one out, Jessica Coan came in to sub Adkins and struck out the first two batters she faced.

Shannon Bear pushed the Jackets lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth after hitting her second homerun of the season.

Downs hit her second homerun of the night and 12th of season in the top of the sixth inning to bring the Gamecocks within one run over the Jackets.

Rush closed out the game for the Jackets by retiring four of the five batters she faced.

"I thought we fought hard tonight," Jacksonville State head coach Jana McGinnis said. "Georgia Tech just came up with the hits that hurt. Most of the time they put a run on the board by hitting homeruns."

The Yellow Jackets Jen Yee connected on her 27th homerun of the season to push the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth.

Georgia Tech will face Oregon Saturday at noon in the third game of the 2010 NCAA Softball Atlanta Regional. Jacksonville State will meet Auburn at 2:30 p.m. in the first elimination game of the tournament.