History made as Tincher passes 2,000 strikeout mark
Hokies split with Pirates as Tech wraps up regular season
April 29, 2008

BLACKSBURG - On a day when Angela Tincher reached a historic milestone of 2,000 career strikeouts, the 18th-ranked Virginia Tech softball couldn't capitalize on the momentum gained in game one, splitting a doubleheader with East Carolina Tuesday afternoon at Tech Softball Park. The Hokies won the first game 11-0 in five innings before falling in the second game, 4-1.

While the story of the first game was Tincher and her pursuit of history, the Hokie bats came alive, scoring 11 runs on 13 hits. Misty Hall and Beth Walker both hit home runs to lead the offensive outburst.

Leading 4-0 heading to the fourth inning, the Hokies erupted for seven runs to end the game early due to the run-ahead rule.

In typical Tincher flair, she tossed a no-hitter, striking out 15 in five innings on her big day. She walked one and hit two batters, but settled down to pick up her 13th-career no-hitter and run her record to 30-6 on the season.

For Tincher, it's been a long road to 2,000 strikeouts. It started with a strikeout of Stetson's Melissa Wiggins on Feb. 12, 2005 and it ended with ECU's Sissy Jimenez in the fifth inning Tuesday. She finished with 349 Ks in an injury-shortened freshman year, followed by 504 her sophomore year, 617 last year and now stands with a nation-best 532 this year. East Carolina became the 66th different team she has faced in her career to have at least one player strike out.

She now stands with 2,002 career strikeouts, making her the third player at any level in NCAA softball history to reach that Herculean plateau, joining Olympians Monica Abbott of Tennessee (2,440) and Cat Osterman of Texas (2,265) to hit the MM mark. In fact, the next closest to her is over 200 behind her at 1,773.

At the plate in the first game, Jenna Rhodes had three hits and two stolen bases while Erin Ota (3 RBI), Charisse Mariconda (2 RBI) and Hall (2 RBI) each had two hits. Kelsey Hoffman (2 RBI), Walker (2 RBI), Jessica Everhart and Anna Zitt each had one hit.

In the second game, the Pirates (33-26) jumped on Tech starter Kenzie Roark (L, 2-6) for a pair of runs in the first inning. After settling down and retiring 14 in a row, Roark gave up a walk and a bomb in the sixth inning as the Pirates padded their lead.

A game after pounding out 13 hits in the opener, the bats went silent for the Hokies in game two. Ota had a single in the first and seventh innings, and Hall had an RBI double in the final inning, but that would be it as the Hokies.

Roark went the distance, allowing four earned runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.

The doubleheader marks the end of the regular season for Tech (41-15). After a break for exams, the Hokies will head to College Park, Md., for the ACC Tournament. The Hokies will be the No. 2 seed and will face a to-be-determined seventh seed on Thursday, May 8 at 12:30 p.m.