DURHAM, N.C. – It was a night at the plate to remember Friday in Atlanta, Ga., as the Duke Blue Devils (15-19, 6-4 ACC) turned in a program-record 15 hits to defeat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (22-14, 5-5 ACC) in the series opener, 9-5.
Duke received at least one hit from nine different players, led by a 4-for-4 performance from Jameson Kavel and multi-hit showings from three other Blue Devils. Also highlighting Duke’s offensive domination was a trio of Blue Devils who turned in multi-RBI games, paced by Caroline Jacobsen’s three-run home run that broke the game open in the fifth.
With two on and two out, Jacobsen sent a bomb off the scoreboard in left to push the Blue Devils ahead, as her team-leading fourth homer gave Duke a five-run lead. The Yellow Jackets would pull two back in the home half of the inning, but could not close the gap anymore as Duke picked up one more run in the seventh en route to its third-straight series-opening win this season.
Duke wasted no time in getting things going in Friday’s matchup, plating five runs on five hits in the opening frame. Marissa Gagliano and Rachel Abboud opened up the inning with a pair of one-out singles, setting up Kristina Foreman’s RBI base hit up the middle to give the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead. Kavel followed two batters later with a double to right center to score two more runs. After Jacobsen earned a walk and then stole second, Brianna Butler began her day with a single up the middle that scored two more to make it 5-0.
The Blue Devils would add one more in the seventh thanks to four hits, the final being a Reilly Metzger RBI single to left center to make it 9-5.
Georgia Tech would put up runs in the first, second, fourth and fifth, drawing as close as two before Jacobsen’s homer and Metzger’s RBI single secured the Duke win. The Yellow Jackets would load the bases twice throughout the game, but could only score two runs in those situations, as Duke stranded 11 Tech runners on the day.
Kavel joined teammates Deja Davis and Abboud as the third player in program history to record four hits in a single game. Gagliano, Abboud and Foreman each turned in two hits for the contest. Jacobsen led all players with three runs driven in, while Kavel and Butler each tallied a pair of RBI.
Butler earned the start, going 2.0 innings and striking out two while walking three. Amelia Wiercioch turned in 2.0 innings of relief with four strikeouts, followed by Peyton St. George (3-4), who tossed the final 3.0 frames with three strikeouts and no runs on just one hit for the win.
Duke and Georgia Tech return to the diamond Saturday for game two of the series, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. ET. The contest will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
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- Duke tallied a program record 15 hits in the win, beating its previous single-game best of 13 set this season on March 2 against Kansas.
- With 15 hits, Duke is 6-2 when collecting double-digit hits in a game.
- The Blue Devils are now 11-3 when leading after six innings and 11-1 when up through five.
- Duke is now 3-2 against teams from the state of Georgia and is now 1-1 in games played in the state of Georgia.
- Jameson Kavel became the third player in Duke softball history to record a four-hit performance and the second this season. Deja Davis tallied four hits in Duke’s Feb. 19 win against NC Central. Rachel Abboud had four hits against Boston College on March 17, 2018.
- Kavel tallied her seventh multi-hit game of the season on Friday, tying Caroline Jacobsen and Deja Davis for the team lead.
- After Friday’s game, Brianna Butler and Kavel are now hitting above the .300 mark at the plate with .316 and .310 clips, respectively.
- Jacobsen hit her team-leading fourth home run of the season with her three-run shot in the fifth.
- Jacobsen has now hit safely in seven of her last eight games, with three of those contests being two-hit showings.
- Raine Wilson tied her career high with three runs scored in the game. She previously set that mark on Feb. 18, 2018 against Penn State.
- With her single in the first, Kristina Foreman upped her career-high hitting streak to four-straight games.
- Rachel Abboud upped her career-high reached base safely streak to 20-straight games with her RBI single in the ninth.
- Abboud also tied her career-long hitting streak by hitting safely for the fifth-straight game.