What you need to know:
* Georgia State defeated Georgia Tech 3-2 in extra innings in GSU’s home opener.
* The Panthers improve to 1-5 on the season.
* The Panthers host the Panther Invitational this weekend featuring No. 5 Alabama, Maryland, Mercer and Miami (Ohio).
ATLANTA – It took 12 innings, but the Georgia State softball team knocked off crosstown rival Georgia Tech 3-2 with a Kensey Caldwell walk-off solo home run at Panthersville Wednesday night in GSU’s home opener.
“We needed this in a bad way after last weekend,” head coach Roger Kincaid said. “We still have some improvements we need to work on and it’s important we fix those mistakes. I was extremely proud of how the kids hung in there and came back from when we went down in the game. The energy in the dugout was amazing.”
Caldwell’s game-ending shot to right-center field came with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning. Wednesday’s game is tied for the longest in school history, one inning short of a 13-frame marathon against George Mason in 2011.
“I had a good feeling about what pitch she was throwing me,” Caldwell said. “I had some doubt that maybe the ball wouldn’t make it out, but I saw everybody’s reaction and just kept running, hoping that it made it over the fence.”
The game was a pitchers' duel between Georgia State’s Annie Davis and Katie Worley (1-1) and Georgia Tech’s Emily Anderson (0-1). Davis got the start and lasted seven innings, allowing four hits and just zero earned runs. Worley entered in extra innings and was dominant, recording 10 strikeouts and allowing no earned runs on two hits. Anderson received praise from Kincaid following the game, as she went the distance for the Yellow Jackets and gave up 11 hits while striking out eight.
The Panthers got on the scoreboard first with Mandy Blackwell scoring Taylor Anderson on a single to center field to make it 1-0. Georgia Tech responded with a run in the top of the seventh to even the score and send it to extra. In the top of the eighth, GT took its first lead of the game with some help from the GSU defense. Morgan Brown extended the game with a single that barely skipped past the third baseman and into left field, scoring Taylor Bradley from second and tying the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth. The two sides traded scoreless frames until Caldwell ended the contest in the 12th.
Geogria State hosts the Panther Invitational this weekend as No. 5 Alabama, Maryland, Mercer and Miami (Ohio) come to Panthersville for four games on Friday, four on Saturday and three on Sunday. Fans can purchase day passes for $5 at the gate.
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