Freshman Sommer Hits Game-Winning Homer in Top of 7th
Feb. 16, 2013
South Florida 4-Team Tournament
TAMPA – Freshman Hanna Sommer hit a hard line shot over the left-field wall for a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning against Coastal Carolina to break a 2-2 tie for the NC State softball on Saturday morning, the second day of action at the USF 4-Team Tournament.
After lead-off hitter Renada Davis beat a high throw to first base and was thrown out stealing, catcher Kirsty Grant walked and Sommer belted her game-winning shot. It was her third of the season overall and the second to score the winning runs for the Pack.
“Hanna is really swinging it well,” said first-year coach Shawn Rychcick. “She got all of that ball. That’s the second time she’s hit a game-winning homer for us, which is impressive for a freshman.
“Her hits have mattered and that’s why we are hitting her near the top of the lineup. She’s becoming a big offensive threat for us.”
The Pack (5-3) put more runners on base in the seventh inning, on a second error by Coastal Carolina’s third baseman and a single to right field by Scout Albertson, but could not get an insurance run across the plate.
The Chanticleers (2-6) put runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but the Pack ended the threat when Davis fielded a grounder at short and threw out a runner at second base, giving the State its first win of the weekend after losing to a pair of ranked teams on Friday.
The 4-2, nine-hit victory also gave Rychcik’s team the No. 3 seed for the tournament’s semifinals, meaning it will play the loser of Saturday’s 1 p.m. game between No. 4 Tennessee and No. 12 host South Florida at 6 p.m.
Davis started the game on a high note, leading off with her second home run of the season to give the Pack a 1-0 lead. It didn’t last long, however, as Coastal Carolina tied the game with a bunt single and a run-scoring double in the bottom of the first.
The Chanticleers took a 2-1 lead in the third on Cacia Pierre’s deep shot over the right-field wall, a lead that held until the Pack scored a single run in the top of the fifth.
Senior centerfielder Caitlin Dent walked to open the inning and freshman third baseman Lana Van Dyken singled to . Dent was out on a fielder’s choice by Davis. Both Davis and Van Dyken advanced on a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third.
Catcher Kirsty Grant struck out swinging, but the ball got by Coastal Carolina’s catcher and Van Dyken scored on the play to tie the game.
Starting pitcher Emily Weiman (5-2) was sharp throughout the game, mowing down 12 of 13 Coastal batters after Pierre’s homer. She finished the game with six strikeouts and two walks.
“Emily was really good throughout the game,” Rychcik said. “She got a good rhythm going after she gave up that home run and kept us in the game until our bats came through in the seventh.”