May 19, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The fifth-seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have played themselves into the championship game after topping Chattanooga 3-0 in Game 9 of the Tallahassee Regional. The game, which began at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, was suspended heading into the bottom of the seventh inning due to rain and was completed Sunday afternoon. Tech improved to 52-16 overall, including a 3-0 regional record, while UTC fell to 44-14. The Lady Mocs will face Florida State in an elimination game at 2:30 Sunday afternoon with the winner of that game to play the Yellow Jackets in the championship game at 5 p.m.
“It was really hard (to keep focus after suspending the game),” Georgia Tech Head Coach Kate Madden said. “I hated to be in the situation that we were in, because we had something going for six straight innings and then got rained out and that’s a horrible position to be in. Another team can take advantage of that and get rest and get pumped up. I just kept telling them (her players) we can’t take this for granted and have to very focused. Everybody got good rest and they came out strong.”
The game went scoreless until the top of the sixth inning when Tech scored two runs off of three hits. With one out, Jamie Frost and Mimi Utt hit back-to-back singles, setting the stage for Sara Wissman, who belted a triple to left center to score two runs. In the seventh with two out, Lindsay Wood ripped a double to left center, scoring an insurance run for the Yellow Jackets. Although Georgia Tech had seven hits, Wissman and Wood’s hits were the only extra-base hits of the game.
Georgia Tech freshman standout pitcher Jessica Sallinger, who improved to 28-7 kept Chattanooga in check offensively. UTC managed just three hits as Sallinger struck out a Tech-record 15 batters. When play resumed on Sunday, Chattanooga led off with walk in the bottom of the seventh, but then Sallinger struck out the next batter and forced two grounds out to end the game. Senior pitcher Beth Alexander went to 25-7 with the loss for Chattanooga.
The Yellow Jackets, who are making their first post season appearance, are just one win away from a trip to the College Word Series.
“I can’t even think about it,” Madden said. “I don’t even know what to say about it. The girls are ready and they’re just really surprising me because their attitude is that they’re not going to be stopped. I just so excited to play this last game.”