October 4, 2009
Softball team competes in fall exhibition tournament
The Notebook
The Virginia Tech softball squad opened its fall exhibition season this past weekend in University Park on the campus of Penn State. Tech went 2-2 on the weekend, scoring 15 runs and collecting 30 hits for the event.

In the opener against St. Francis, Tech got production from top to bottom in a new look starting lineup en route to a 4-1 win. Freshman Bkaye Smith started the game with a single over the shortstop and would later score on a sacrifice fly by junior transfer Kristina Cruz. Richelle McGarva would later score on a passed ball to give the Hokies an early lead. That would be plenty of offense for Jasmine Harrell, who put together six strong innings of work in the circle. The freshman from Irvine, Calif., struck out six and allowed just four hits in earning the win. The Hokies would add two more insurance runs, one coming from transfer Ashton Ward. Abbie Rexrode worked the final inning for the save.

The Hokies picked up where they left off to start game two against Lock Haven as the first two batters sent to the plate would come around to score and then held on for the 9-5 win. Courtney Liddle paced the way going 3-for-4 with a deep home run to left-center. Junior Kenzie Roark pitched all seven innings, surrendering five runs en route to the win. Lock Haven made things interesting with a four-run fifth inning, capitalizing on two Hokie miscues. Freshman Betty Rose saw her first action in a Tech uniform, catching all seven innings and picking up a base hit.

Tech finished the day against host Penn State and came on the short end of a 3-2 pitchers’ dual. Ward toed the rubber for the Hokies, allowing three runs on five hits. The young lineup proved costly as miscommunication led to two of the three runs allowed. There were, however, two web gems turned in by the Hokie defense, one coming on a diving catch by McGarva and the other by Smith who snagged a line drive deep in the hole at shortstop. Liddle hit her second home run of the day in the loss.

On Sunday, the Hokies couldn’t get much going in falling 2-0 to Iona. All four pitchers pitched with Rexrode picking up the loss in two innings of work. Roark (2 IP), Harrell (1 IP) and Ward (1 IP) also got some work in. At the plate, Tech had just four hits with Cruz leading off the seventh inning with a double.

For the weekend, Ward led the way at the plate, going 6-for-11 (.545) with a double and run scored. Liddle hit .500 with two home runs and three runs scored. Harrell pitched seven innings, allowing just four hits for a perfect 0.00 ERA. Roark had a 2.33 ERA in nine innings pitched and Ward allowed three runs in seven innings.

Tech will wrap up its fall season the weekend of Oct. 17 & 18 at home.

For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).

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