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Upsets Prevail on Leadoff Classic Opening Day

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Georgia Tech, Illinois State, Michigan, Southern Illinois, Florida State and Tennessee Tech all posted a pair of victories Friday to sit undefeated following the opening day of action a the Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. 

Tech opened the tournament with a 10-7 upset of 17th-ranked Baylor. The Yellow Jackets got a 5-for-5 plate performance from Caitlin Lever which included a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored. Georgia Tech broke open a 3-3 game with six runs in the top of the fifth and then withstood a furious Baylor rally in the bottom of the seventh to claim the win. 

Georgia Tech closed the opening day with an 8-3 win over a DePaul squad that was ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll a week earlier. Brittany Barnes drove in three runs, including a home run, to pace the Yellow Jackets’ seven-hit attack. 

Illinois State got an RBI single from Michelle Henderson in the bottom of the seventh to score Chelsea Turner with the winning run as the Redbirds opened the tournament with a 5-4 win over Coastal Carolina. 

ISU capped a perfect opening day with a 3-0 win over 18th-ranked Georgia. Shannon Nicholson hurled a three-hit shutout as the Redbirds turned Jessie Buker’s first-inning, three-run home run into the deciding margin. 

Illinois State’s fellow Missouri Valley Conference foe, Southern Illinois, picked up a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth and held off a seventh-inning rally to knock off North Carolina 3-2. 

The Salukis got a two-hit shutout from Ashley Hamby in the nightcap to knock off Hofstra 1-0 in the South Commons stadium. 

Tennessee Tech opened play with a 4-1 win over 21st-ranked Nebraska. Tech got a 2-for-4, three RBI performance from Ama Glover that included a home run in the deciding three-run third inning. Bonnie Bynum picked up the win in relief, allowing a run on two hits over four innings. 

The Golden Eagles closed out the opening day with an 8-0 victory over Seton Hall. Glover once again led the way, going 3-for-4 with a trio of RBIs to end the day 5-for-8 with six RBIs. Bynum followed up her opening-game win with a complete-game two-hit shutout against the Pirates. 

Michigan, ranked 13th nationally, got a two-run single from Tiffany Worthy and a three-run home run from Teddi Ewing in the top of the seventh to break open a scoreless game en route to a 5-1 win over Auburn in the tournament opener for the Wolverines. Lorilyn Wilson picked up the win, going the distance and allowing an unearned run on six hits. 

Nikki Nemitz took advantage of a second-inning misplayed ground ball as she hurled a five-hit shutout to lead the Wolverines to a 1-0 victory over Hofstra. 

No. 20 Florida State rallied in the ninth inning in its opener to knock off Nebraska 2-1 before downing Mississippi State 4-2 to end the day with a perfect 2-0 mark. The Seminoles and Cornhuskers battled to a scoreless tie through regulation, but Nebraska struck with a run in the top of the ninth on Ashley DeBuhr’s two-out single to center field. 

The Seminoles tied the game in the home half of the frame with Michelle Snyder’s home run to left center. All-American Veronica Wootson capped the victory as in the next at-bat she delivered a solo shot in the same direction to clinch the win. 

Wootson continued her hot hitting in the following contest as she homered to seal a 2-for-4 outing in the win over the Bulldogs. Yuruby Alicart also homered in the victory as she went 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in a pair of runs. 

Mississippi State used a 10-run second inning to rebound from the loss with a 23-0 win over Seton Hall that set a new Leadoff Classic record for the most runs by a single team in a game. The mark breaks the previous best of 21 set at last year’s tournament by Nebraska in a win over Illinois. 

Two other marks were matched by Virginia Tech Friday. Angela Tincher became just the second pitcher in the tournament’s 12-year history to notch a perfect game. Tincher struck out 16 in a 4-0 win over Lehigh to join Georgia’s Michelle Green. Caroline Stoll joined her teammate in the records as she tied the tournament record for home runs in a game with her two blasts against the Mountain Hawks. 

Pool play action concludes Saturday, as games begin at 10:30 a.m. The 2007 event concludes with bracket play starting Sunday at 9 a.m.