Huskies end Tech women's softball season

Washington junior Danielle Lawrie put an end to Georgia Tech's record-setting softball season Sunday at Mewborn Field.

Lawrie hit two home runs, had four RBIs and pitched a three-hit shutout as the Huskies beat Tech 7-0 in the NCAA Atlanta Super Regional. With the win, No. 3-ranked Washington (46-11) wins the best-of-three series 2-0 and advances to the NCAA Women's Softball College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Tech's hitters had no answer for Lawrie all weekend. Lawrie, who struck out eight batters on Sunday, had 18 strikeouts in the Super Regional and ran her season total to 472.

"She's a great player," Tech coach Sharon Perkins said of Lawrie. "It's pretty hard to find a player who is a good hitter and a great pitcher. The pitches she hit were pretty amazing. We were wowed by it. Usually, a great pitcher will beat a great hitting team. There are definitely ways to beat them. If they were not such a good hitting team, we might have had a chance."

Tech starting pitcher Jennifer Coan allowed three home runs in the first three innings before being replaced by Kristen Adkins. Washington led 5-0 when Coan exited. Lawrie hit two-run home runs in the first and third innings, with Washington's Alicia Blake hitting a solo shot in the second.

"They're a great team, and we knew they were going to hit the ball," Coan said.

But the loss didn't take away Tech's accomplishments. No. 14 Tech, which ends the season 46-15, swept the ACC tournament and the Atlanta Regional last week en route to its first NCAA Super Regional appearance. Sunday's crowd of 1,117 set a home field record for the Yellow Jackets.

"The crowds have been awesome," senior shortstop Tiffany Johnson said. "The crowd gives you a boost, knowing that they have your back."

Johnson and fellow seniors Blair Shimandle and Whitney Haller raised the bar for Tech softball. Fittingly, Johnson and Haller were responsible for two of Tech's three hits on Sunday.

"I think our senior class left a legacy so the girls next year can look forward to reaching higher and carrying on the winning tradition," Johnson said.

As dominant as Lawrie was on Sunday, Johnson said she was determined not to end her career with a strikeout.

"She's a great pitcher, and this was the first time I've ever had to go into a slap to hit, and I have pretty quick hands," Johnson said. "I didn't care if I grounded out or popped up, I just didn't want to strike out."