Pack Softball Has 4 HRs, 2 Big Doubles in 10-1 Win Over Virginia
April 20, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - NC State sophomore shortstop Renada Davis hit two of NC State's four home runs to increase her ACC-leading and school-record total to 20 on the season, leading the Wolfpack to a 10-1 win over Virginia in the first game of an ACC doubleheader.
It's the 10th win in the last 12 games for the surging Wolfpack (24-18-1 overall, 8-7 ACC) and the first time this season it has gone over .500 in league play.
Senior Bethaney Wells and Scout Albertson also homered for the Wolfpack, increasing the team's ACC-leading team total to 61, just five away from the team record set in 2007. It's the 16th time the Pack has hit multiple home runs this season, and the fourth time in the last six games that State has hit four or more in a game.
For Davis, the 2012 ACC Freshman of the Year, it was the third time this season that she's hit two in one game. Davis, who entered the game tied for third among all NCAA Division I home run hitters, also hit two against Troy and No. 10 Texas.
She became only the eighth player in ACC history to hit 20 in a season, with six regular-season games remaining.
The four home runs were impressive, but first-year head coach Shawn Rychcik was more pleased with a pair of run-scoring doubles, the first by freshman Lana Van Dyken and the second by senior Caitlin Dent.
Van Dyken's two-run double in the top of the second to left opened the Pack's scoring after both freshman Hanna Sommer and junior Leah Jones walked against Virginia starter Melanie Mitchell for a 2-0 lead. Dent's two-run shot to nearly the same spot pushed the Pack's lead to 7-1.
"Both of those were heartbreakers," Rychcik said. "Lana's gave us quick lead and Caitlin's got the lead up to six runs, which is really hard to come back from in softball.
"We obviously like the home runs, but those doubles were pretty important in this game."
In the bottom of the second, sophomore righthanded pitcher Emily Weiman (22-16) issued a one-out walk, but she and catcher Kirsty Grant squelched a rally when Grant threw out the runner trying to steal on one pitch and Weiman struck out the batter looking on the next.
Davis then added to the Wolfpack lead on the first pitch of the third inning with her 19th homer of the season, a high-flying shot deep into the trees over the leftfield wall, giving Weiman a 3-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, Davis added another solo homer with a shot to right field that nearly took out the Anderson Field scoreboard. Wells, who has led the Pack in homers the last two years, then hit her sixth of the season to give her team a 5-0 advantage.
Virginia scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth after Weiman had retired nine straight batters, thanks to a one-out single by pinch-hitter Karli Johnson.
The Pack added three unearned runs in the sixth, capped by Dent's double.
Albertson then hit her second home run in the Pack's last five games and her seventh of the season, completing State's scoring.
The teams played a second game of the doubleheader immediately afterwards. They will conclude the three-game series on Sunday at noon.
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