Tresselt leads Softball into NCAA Regional finals with 4-2 win over Ga. Tech
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A four-run first inning and a stellar outing by freshman righthander Erin Tresselt led the 18th-ranked Texas Softball team to a 4-2 victory over No. 17 Georgia Tech Saturday night at the NCAA Gainesville Regional. Texas' victory moves the Longhorns into the Regional Finals on Sunday, May 20 at noon CT against No. 19 Florida.
The Longhorns win improved Texas to 35-19 on the year and 2-1 in NCAA play, while the Yellow Jackets fell to 54-16 and were eliminated from the NCAA Championship.
Tresselt (12-3) earned the victory for UT after scattering five hits over 6.2 innings and holding Georgia Tech to just one earned run. Junior righthander Meagan Denny came on in relief with a runner at second in the seventh, shutting the door on the Yellow Jackets to pick up her first save of the season. Jackets' starter Sarah Wood (12-3) suffered the loss for GT, allowing four runs on four hits in two thirds of an inning pitched.
Georgia Tech jumped out to an early advantage in the first, using a leadoff home run by Aileen Morales to claim a 1-0 lead, however, Texas answered in the bottom of the first, pounding out four hits and taking advantage of one GT error to take a 4-1 edge. Sophomore second baseman Shannon Thomas got the rally going with a leadoff walk and after stealing second base, came all the way around to score when senior first baseman Jacqueline Williams laced an RBI triple down the rightfield line.
Senior catcher Megan Willis followed with an RBI single through the left side, and after stealing second, Willis came home on Tallie Thrasher's RBI single through the middle. Thrasher advanced to second on the throw, before being replaced by pinch runner Kori Cook, who came home on a throwing error that followed sophomore rightfielder Kacie Gaskin's base hit to leftfield.
The Yellow Jackets narrowed the margin in the sixth, using a one-out RBI single by Savannah Brown to close the gap to 4-2. Morales earned a walk to start the inning and advanced to second when Jennifer Yee reached on a fielder's choice. Brown's single to left centerfield scored Morales from second base, while Yee and Brown were stranded on base.
Willis headlined the Texas offense in the game, going two-for-three with an RBI, a stolen base and one run scored. Williams, Thomas, Thrasher and Gaskin each chipped in with a hit apiece, while Williams tallied her first career triple.
Texas returns to action Sunday, May 20 when it takes on the 13th-seeded Florida Gators in the NCAA Regional Finals at noon CT. If the Longhorns win game one, they will play Florida in a second game immediately following the first game.
TEXAS POSTGAME QUOTES
Game two we got a brilliant performance from Erin (Tresselt). She threw like a veteran today; she's in her first year for us, and she absolutely threw like a veteran.
On facing Georgia Tech: Both Denny and Tresselt saw Georgia Tech yesterday. (They are a) great-hitting ball club. We just talked about the fact that it's going to be difficult to throw one pitcher at them, so we had all three of our pitchers ready.
Denny did a great job coming into the ballgame, but they all had the mind set that if they come in we need to stretch the plate just a little bit more. I think we left too many over the plate early in the game (Friday) and they got some momentum built up. So they had that game plan; both of them executed it very well. We made the change at the top of the order (replacing Tresselt with Denny) because that leadoff hitter had a good read on Erin.
On facing Florida on Sunday: Obviously we weren't thinking ahead. We'll talk about Florida tonight. The coaches obviously have watched a lot more film than the athletes have; we need to take it one game at a time.
We'll bring a game plan in, but they're a quality ball club and we've got to beat them twice. The nice thing is we're not one dimensional in our pitching staff and hopefully that will help us.
On Florida's hitters: They have been doing pretty well -- I haven't found too many weaknesses. They're going to go right at you when you bring it, so I think me and Erin both need to throw them our strengths until they prove us otherwise.
GEORGIA TECH QUOTES
On the play of Aileen Morales: Morales started off the game phenomenal. What more can you ask for? A leadoff home run. All the way through the lineup we should've been hitting. We did have some good shots with quite a few line drives to the third baseman, but we hit it right to them.
Junior shortstop Aileen Morales