TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – UT Martin sophomore Kayla Wade knew she had to get to Georgia Tech catcher Alysha Rudnik’s feet before the ball did.
Wade scored from first base on senior Jenny Bain’s double to center field and The University of Tennessee at Martin tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
“I was running my heart out,” Wade said. “When Jenny Bain hit that ball I knew it was in the gap, and I was going home. I knew that I had to run my fastest.”
However, Wade’s run was all the Skyhawks could put on the scoreboard against Georgia Tech in the NCAA Regional Softball Tournament at Rhoads Stadium on the Alabama campus.
Georgia Tech claimed a 9-1 victory and advanced to the semifinals of the tournament against South Alabama. UT Martin finished the season with a 39-22 record.
“I don’t think the score is indicative of the way the game was played.” UT Martin head coach Donley Canary said. “We are proud of our kids. They played hard; they left it all on the ball field.”
Georgia Tech broke the 1-1 tie with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning and then tacked on six more runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Georgia Tech’s Kelsi Wiseman was f-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, while Katie Johnsky went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
The Yellow Jackets tagged UT Martin senior pitcher Chelsea Jones for eight earned runs and nine hits.
“I was getting frustrated and they were just hitting what I gave them. It was just not my day today.” Jones said.
UT Martin managed four hits and took advantage of five walks against Georgia Tech’s Hope Rush. Leah Taylor, Morgan Lewis and Erica Duke had one hit each for the Skyhawks.
The Skyhawks must fill voids left by Bain, Jones and Duke, all seniors who have been part of two NCAA Regional Tournaments, two OVC Tournament championships and two OVC regular season championships.
“The seniors left a real good mark for our freshmen to shoot for by winning over 160 ballgames in the last four years,” Canary said.