Wolfpack Wins Both Games of Doubleheader Against Virginia
March 1, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State softball team opened Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play on Saturday by winning both games of a doubleheader against the Virginia Cavaliers at Dail Stadium. The Wolfpack shut out the Cavaliers in the first game to claim a 3-0 win, before taking the second game, 5-2.
"It was a good start," said head coach Shawn Rychcik. "Our goal was to win two games today and we did that."
Junior Renada Davis wasted little time giving the Wolfpack (7-6, 2-0 ACC) the lead in the first game of the day, as she deposited the second pitch she saw from Virginia (2-13, 0-2 ACC) pitcher Aimee Chapdelaine over the center field fence for a leadoff home run. The Pack threatened to score another in the inning after Lana Van Dyken walked and Molly Hutchison reached on a fielder's choice, advancing Van Dyken to third following a throwing error by the Cavs' shortstop.
State scored its second run of the contest in the fifth inning when sophomore Hanna Sommer lined a single to right field to plate Van Dyken, who walked earlier in the frame. Davis drove in the final run of the game on a single to left field for her second RBI. Freshman Tyler Ross led off the inning and scored from third on Davis' hit.
Davis, a native of Tomball, Texas, paced the team at the plate with a 2-for-4 outing, while Hutchison, Sommer and Chelsea Tate each had one hit.
In the circle, junior Emily Weiman threw her fourth consecutive complete game shutout as she silenced the Cavaliers' offense through seven innings. Weiman had four strikeouts in the contest and did not give up a walk, while scattering five hits allowed.
Weiman was excellent in the second game of the doubleheader as well, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Virginia collected its first hit of the game on a weakly-hit ball that fell in for a single. She did not allow a walk in the second either and collected an additional four strikeouts to give her a total of eight strikeouts on the day.
"I thought Emily got better in the second game, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning before a bloop single ended it," Rychcik added. "I think the single threw her concentration off just a little, but Molly Hutchison homered the inning before so we had a little insurance."
Davis ignited the offense in the second game with a double down the left field line, before Van Dyken walked to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Senior Leah Jones smacked a double to left field to score Davis on the play. A couple hard-hit balls ensued, but resulted in the final two outs of the inning.
The Wolfpack scored again in the second inning, after Tate opened the frame with her first homer of the season, a solo shot to left center. State loaded the bases in the inning, but the Pack was unable to drive them in.
Freshman Nadia Kemp reached on an error by the UVa third baseman to start the third inning and senior Scout Albertson followed with a double to deep left center moving Kemp over to third. Senior Kirsty Grant's sacrifice fly scored Kemp from third.
"I'd like to see a few more big hits, but the goal was to get two wins and it doesn't really matter how you do it," Rychcik said. "We're here to win games and we're going to try to come out tomorrow and do the same thing."
NC State added some insurance in the bottom of the sixth, as Hutchison hit a no-doubter home run over the left field fence to plate Van Dyken, who reached on a base on balls. The homer was Hutchison's third of the season.
The Cavaliers managed to score two runs in the top of the seventh after a two RBI single by Stephanie Harris, but Weiman induced a ground out to end the game on the next play.
The Wolfpack returns to the field on Sunday for the final game of the series against Virginia. First pitch is slated for noon.