Softball Splits Doubleheader with Virginia Tech
March 22, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State softball team extended its program record home game winning streak to 14 in the first game of the doubleheader against Virginia Tech before having it snapped in the second game Saturday afternoon at Dail Stadium.
"I thought both games were two really good battles," said head coach Shawn Rychcik. "We made a few mistakes in the second game and it led to a few big innings for them and we didn't have an answer for it. I'm pretty pleased with our offense, we got some big hits when we needed them."
Game One - NCST 6, VT 3
The Wolfpack answered in the bottom of the fourth with four runs thanks to junior Sara Lippard's first career grand slam. Renada Davis, Hanna Sommer and Chelsea Tate each walked in the frame to load the bases. Lippard smashed an 0-1 delivery over the fence in left field for her second homer of the year to make the score 4-2.
"I was really focusing on getting a pitch in the zone that I could drive," said Lippard. "It was an awesome feeling giving our team the lead and giving our team some momentum. I thought I put a good swing on it, so I was really excited to see it get over the fence."
After the Hokies plated an unearned run in the top of the fifth, the Pack countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame to widen its lead to 6-3. Freshman Molly Hutchison lined a two-out double to right center scoring Kirsty Grant from second and Lana Van Dyken from first.
Junior Emily Weiman (16-8) pitched her 17th complete game of the season to earn the win in the circle. She allowed seven hits, three runs, four walks and collected four strikeouts.
Game Two - VT 10, NCST 4
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second, senior Leah Jones gave the Pack a 2-1 lead following her second homer of the season to score Lippard who opened the inning with a single. Two batters later, the Wolfpack displayed its power once again as Davis smacked a 2-2 pitch over the fence in right center for her seventh round-tripper of the season.
Virginia Tech would not be outdone as Lauren Gaskill homered to lead off the third and trim the Hokie deficit to 3-2. The Hokies tacked on two additional runs in the frame to chase the Wolfpack's starting pitcher Courtney Mirabella (2-2) from the contest. Weiman came in with the bases loaded and immediately induced a ground ball back to circle, which she fired home for one out and Grant threw it to first base for the second out. The final batter of the inning was retired via a swinging strikeout as Weiman escaped the bases loaded jam she inherited.
Tech scored four unearned runs in the fourth inning and two earned in the sixth to stretch the lead to 10-3. Jones scored the fourth run of contest for State in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI from Grant.
"I think some of the things we did right in the first game, we didn't do so well in the second game," Rychcik added. "We'll try to repeat the good that we did today on tomorrow. I think both teams will swing the bats well, so it will come down to who makes the plays defensively and gets the timely hit."
NC State will return to action for the series finale against Virginia Tech on Sunday at 11 a.m. The contest was originally slated for noon but has been moved up an hour to accommodate for potential inclement weather later in the day.