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Florida A&M eliminated from NCAA Softball Playoffs

May 20, 2006

TUSCALOOSA – The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defeated Florida A&M for the second time in two days Saturday night, this time winning 10-7 to advance to the NCAA Region 5 Championship round.

The win didn’t come without a scare however. With Georgia Tech ahead 10-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, just three outs away from invoking the run-rule and finishing out the game, FAMU rallied for six runs, pulling to within three.

“We were up 10-1 and all of a sudden it’s like a tornado hits and it is 10-6 or 10-7,” Georgia Tech coach Ehren Earleywine said. “It can happen very quick and you can learn your lesson real fast. I probably should have just stayed with Sarah (Wood) and taken the sure thing and rolled the dice tomorrow.”

It was FAMU’s hard play throughout the night that kept things interesting.

“I was pleased with the intensity at the end and the try-hard and never-give-up attitude,” Rattlers coach Veronica Wiggins said. “It could have easily been an eight-run-rule game, but our players decided to challenge it and they did that and I’m pleased with that.”

In the end though, Tech held the Rattlers scoreless over the last final two innings to seal the win.

“Like I told the team, I take a lot of blame for the comeback,” Earleywine said. “I left Whitney Haller in there too long. I was pleased with how Sarah Wood was able to come back in and get some outs and shut them down.”

Georgia Tech will face Alabama Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The Yellow Jackets would have to beat Alabama twice to win the Regional Championship.

“The thing about Alabama, and they proved it today, is the old adage that good pitching generally beats good hitting,” Earleywine said. “We only got one run off VanBrakle today. I’m hopeful that we can score three, four or five runs and keep it close.”


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