Pack Softball Scores Run-Rule Win Over No. 19 Virginia Tech, 10-2
March 23, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va. - NC State softball's bats heated up on the coldest day of the season, as the Wolfpack took a 10-2 victory in five innings over No. 19 Virginia Tech in the opening game of the Pack's first ACC road series of the season.
The chilly noon game, with a 36-degree temperature when the first pitch was thrown, was the first time in the 10-year history of the program that the Pack has scored a run-rule victory over a ranked opponent.
State (12-13-1 overall, 1-3 ACC) pounded out 14 hits in five innings at the Tech Softball Park, as junior outfielder Scout Albertson, senior outfielder Bethaney Wells and junior catcher Kirsty Grant all had three hits apiece. The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak that included narrow losses to top-ranked Oklahoma, No. 10 Texas and No. 15 Michigan in the Judi Garman Classic last weekend in Fullerton, Calif.
"I told the kids afterwards that all the work we did last weekend in California paid off in this game today," said first-year coach Shawn Rychcik. "We came out aggressive with the bats and the hits kept coming.
"I was proud of how we took it to them from the get-go."
Albertson set the tone in the top of the first inning with a solo homer over the centerfield wall. It was her fifth of the season and first since she hit four out of NC State's Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Stadium on March 2, when she had two against Kansas and two against North Carolina A&T on the second day of the Wolfpack Challenge.
Sophomore pitcher Emily Weiman pitched her way out of a jam in the bottom of the first, when the Hokies put runners on second and third with a walk and an infield error with only one out. But freshman third baseman Lana Van Dyken kept a run from scoring as she fielded a grounder near the line, and junior second base Chelsea Tate kept a hot grounder in front of her, then threw out the hitter to end the Hokie threat.
The Pack exploded for six runs in the top of the third, thanks to three straight singles to open the inning. Sophomore Renada Davis, Grant and Wells all had run-scoring singles and junior Leah Jones delivered a two-run double to right-centerfield.
The Hokies picked up their first hit off of Weiman in the bottom of the fourth, on a double by Courtney Liddle and a single by Kat Banks. Tech scored two runs in the frame, but the Pack answered quickly with three in the top of the fifth to push its lead to eight runs to set the stage for the run-rule win.
"I thought that was big for us, to come right back and score after they got their two runs and bump that lead up by another run," Rychcik said. "Emily wasn't perfect in the game, but we gave her a lot of support."
Weiman (11-12) allowed three hits, two earned runs and one walk, while striking out one in the game.
The two teams played the second game of the doubleheader Saturday afternoon and are scheduled to play the Hokies at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the series finale.
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