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Kleinschmidt, Tech shut down State on diamond

Rockdale graduate MeQuilla Franklin bats against Georgia Tech Sunday in Atlanta. Staff photo by Kurt Aschermann Jr.

Rockdale graduate MeQuilla Franklin bats against Georgia Tech Sunday in Atlanta. Staff photo by Kurt Aschermann Jr.

The Georgia State softball team had a tough time figuring out Kylie Kleinschmidt Sunday.

Kleinschmidt scattered four singles and didn’t allow an earned run in Georgia Tech’s 5-1 victory in the finale of the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Invitational at Mewborn Field.

Georgia State, which finished the three-day tournament 2-3, tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning. Ashley Christy led off with a bunt single, stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to Taylor Anderson, the pair tried a double steal and Tech catcher Alysha Rudnik’s throw got away from shortstop Ashley Thomas, which allowed Christy to score.

Tech answered right away with a three-run bottom half of the third. Facing State starter and losing pitcher Kaitlyn Medlam (3 IP, 4 ER), the Yellow Jackets picked up four consecutive hits, with Rudnik and Katie Johnsky (singles) and Karly Fullem (double) driving in runs to make it a 4-1 game.

That was more than enough for the junior right-hander Kleinschmidt, who struck out seven to move to 7-0 on the young season.

State had two chances to cut into the deficit and each time Rockdale graduate MeQuilla Franklin was involved. In the fifth, Kensey Caldwell reached on a throwing error by third baseman Chelsie Thomas and Christy walked to put runners at first and second with no one out. Franklin hit the ball hard, but right at Thomas at third and Caldwell was caught too far off second to complete the double play.

The visiting Panthers got Christy’s third hit of the day and had runners at first and second with two out in the seventh, but Franklin’s hard-hit ground ball was scooped up for a game-ending fielder’s choice.

Tech, which went 4-1 in the tournament to improve to 10-2 overall, scored the first run of the game on Rudnik’s run-scoring double in the first.

Heritage graduate Callie Alford was hitless in three trips to the plate, but did just miss a pitch in the seventh when she led off with a deep fly out to centerfield.

Franklin and Alford each struggled during the Panthers’ five tournament games. Franklin, a senior third baseman, was 1 for 15, while Alford, a junior catcher, went just 2 for 17.

Georgia State (6-4) will host Mercer in a doubleheader Wednesday at Bob Heck Field beginning at 4:00 pm.