RALEIGH, N.C. One pitch made the difference as No. 24 Virginia Tech topped NC State, 2-0, on Saturday, March 22 at the Curtis & Jacqueline Dail Softball Stadium. Kelsey Hoffman plated two unearned runs for the Hokies with a double to deep center in the top of the third.
The setback puts State at 16-16 (2-4 ACC) on the year, while VT moves to 23-9 (5-1 ACC). Angela Tincher (15-4) got the win, while Lindsay Campana suffered the loss (9-12). Despite dropping the decision, Campana offered a solid showing from the circle for the Pack, picking up five K’s and allowing no earned runs.
The Pack’s defensive effort, especially in the outfield lawn, was particularly bright on the pleasant spring afternoon, pulling off several memorable plays.
The Hokies had runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the first, but the red and white clawed its way out of the inning unharmed. Charisse Mariconda lined out to left, Jenna Rhodes was caught in a run down between third and home, and Jessica Everhart grounded out to short.
In took just three pitches for Campana and the Wolfpack defense to dust off VT in the top of the second. Alyssa Ishibashi, Shanna Smith and Allison Presnell put a feather in State’s defense cap with a picture-perfect 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
Ashleigh Davis made a highlight-reel diving stab to haul in a sinking liner from Erin Ota in the top of the third. Hoffman, however, later doubled to score two.
Davis cut on the jets to beat out a grounder to short for the Pack’s first hit in the bottom of the third. But Mariconda caught Blair Harkey’s bunt during the next at-bat mid-air at third, and Davis got doubled-up at first.
Harkey supplied another Web Gem in the top of the fourth, making a leaping grab near the wall in center to pull down a bullet from Caroline Stolle.
The Wolfpack had a chance to do some damage in its last at-bat as Smith drew a leadoff walk and Ishibashi followed by dropping a single down the line in left, but both were left stranded.
State will return to action with a midweek doubleheader against Winthrop at the Curtis & Jacqueline Dail Softball Stadium this coming Wednesday, March 26. Game times are slated for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Live stats will be available on GoPack.com for both contests.