Pack Softball Sweeps Doubleheader at Charlotte
May 3, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The NC State softball team swept a doubleheader against the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday with a 3-2 win in game one followed by an 8-3 victory in game two at DL Phillips Complex. The Wolfpack finishes the regular season with a 34-15 record and the 49ers conclude the year at 20-28.
“I was glad to see us win that first game,” said head coach Shawn Rychcik. “It’s always tough to win that first game back out on the field after exams and when they’ve been concentrating on school. Sara [Lippard] and Molly [Hutchison] came through with a couple of big hits to help us get the win.
“Our bats came alive in the second game and we were able to stretch the lead a little bit. It was good to shake some of the rust off from exam week and we’ll be ready to go for the ACC Championship on Thursday.”
Game One – NCST 3, CHAR 2
The 49ers struck first in the contest with a run in the bottom of the first after the leadoff batter singled and later scored in the inning. State knotted the score at one in the top of the third following a sacrifice fly from Hutchison to plate Van Dyken from third base.
Charlotte countered with a run in the bottom half of the inning thanks to an RBI single from Jackie Kleinsmith to take a 2-1 lead. The Wolfpack tied the score at two in the top of the sixth after a solo home run from Sara Lippard. The junior left fielder deposited the second pitch she saw from Charlotte starting pitcher Lexi Betancourt (19-14) over the fence in left field for her fourth homer of the season.
Van Dyken led off the top of the seventh with a single down the right field line and stole second base to get into scoring position. Hutchison delivered a double over the right fielder’s head as the Wolfpack took the lead, 3-2.
:”I was happy to put a good swing on a ball and give my team the lead,” said Hutchison. “Our pitcher’s were throwing well and our defense was playing great. I got an outside pitch that I could handle and fortunately it fell in for a double.”
Junior Emily Weiman earned the win on the mound to run her record to 28-12 on the season. She struck out four hitters and only walked one batter.
NC State will return to action on Thursday, May 8 when it begins play in the 2014 ACC Softball Championship held in College Park, Md. The Wolfpack will be the fourth seed and open the tournament against fifth-seeded North Carolina at 1:30 p.m.
Game Two – NCST 8, CHAR 3
State answered with a run in the top of the third after an RBI single by freshman Molly Hutchison to score Kirsty Grant, who reached on a fielder’s choice, from second base to tie it at one. The Pack tacked on an additional four runs in the top of the fourth on three hits and a walk.
Freshman Hannah Yeager sparked the offense with her second homer of the year, a two-run shot to left field to put the Pack ahead 3-1. Sophomore Lana Van Dyken followed with her first triple of the season to right center, before junior Renada Davis hit her 17th round-tripper of the year to plate Van Dyken.
“The first game I was really just trying to get a feel for the pitcher,” said Davis. “In the second game, I was seeing the ball really well and I felt great. We were a little off-balance in the first game at the plate as a team, but we came out much more aggressive and focused in the second game.”
Chelsea Tate, a senior from Mission Viejo, Calif., added a run in the following inning with a solo home run to left center. It was her seventh homer of the season. Van Dyken drove in the other run in the frame on a single up the middle to extend the lead to 7-2 after a solo homer by Charlotte in the bottom of the fourth trimmed the Wolfpack lead.
In the top of the seventh, Davis ripped a two-out double to right center and scored on a single to right field by Grant as the final run scored in the game to make it 8-3.
Freshman Courtney Mirabella (6-3) started the game in the circle for the Pack and threw her fourth complete game of the year. She struck out eight batters and retired six batters in a row at one point in the contest.