St. John’s softball splits shortened series in Atlanta

Will Harris, Staff Writer

St. John’s softball split a pair in the Peach State last week, testing their worth against two top notch programs in the South. The Red Storm defeated the Georgia Tech 5-4 in a rain shortened matchup Tuesday before taking a tough 8-7 loss to Georgia State Wednesday.  

The Red Storm pulled off a huge comeback against Georgia Tech, as they scored four unanswered runs in the final three innings to win 5-4. Sophomore Krystal Puga had two hits and two RBIs to get the Johnnies back to .500 with a (3-3) record on the 2016 season.

St. John’s fell behind early when the Yellow Jackets scored four runs in the first two innings. Starting Pitcher, Grace Kramer was taken out of the game and Tori Free came in and halted the Georgia Tech offense by throwing four shutout innings. The only time Free was in trouble was in the 5th inning when the Yellow Jackets had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. However, Free managed to get three straight outs to get out of the jam.

The Johnnies started their comeback in the 4th inning by scoring two runs when Senior Yvonne Rericha reached on an error which also scored Junior, Monique Landini, and Sophomore, Hannah Anderson.

In the 5th, the Red Storm tallied on another run when Carly Williams singled to right field and drove Brittany Garcia home which tied the game at 4. In the 6th, Krystal Puga hit a clutch double that scored Rericha and ultimately scored the winning run.

The umpires called the game in the middle of the 7th inning and sealed the victory for the Red Storm. St. John’s and Georgia Tech were supposed to play a second game on Tuesday, but that game was postponed due to the rain. 

The day after the rainout, the Red Storm faced off against Georgia State. Georgia State jumped out to an early 5-0 lead with the help of Ivie Drake’s leadoff homerun in a 4 run first inning. St. John’s fired back by scoring 7 unanswered runs in the 3rd and 5th innings. Freshman Christina Melendez knocked in the first two with a 2 run homerun to right center in the third inning.

In the 5th, the Panthers defense beat themselves by making four errors that led to five runs and a one run lead for the Johnnies. Kaitlyn Wilkens and Yvonne Rericha each had RBI singles that drove in a run each.

In the bottom of the 7th, GSU had runners on first and second. Sophomore Taylor Bradley then singled to score the tying run. Back to back walks ended the game and gave the Georgia State Panthers the win.

After going 2-2 in the Tiger Invitational this weekend at Auburn, AL, the Red Storm (5-6) travel to Knoxville this weekend for the Tennessee Invitational.