Hokies advance to World Series with 6-1 win over Michigan
Tech completes Sunday sweep with help of four-run third inning
May 25, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Virginia Tech softball team's magical postseason run continued with an emphatic sweep of sixth-ranked Michigan in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament in Ann Arbor on Sunday. Tech had defeated the Wolverines 1-0 earlier in the day with a 15-strikeout performance by pitcher Angela Tincher, and, needing to take the second game to advance to Oklahoma City, the Hokies pounded out seven hits to secure a 6-1 victory and punch a ticket to the Women's College World Series for the first time in school history. "It's incredible," Tincher said of how it feels to reach the World Series. "The past couple of weeks, we've played so well as a team. Pitching with that kind of defense and hitting [behind me] has been a lot of fun, and it really means a lot to me." The daunting task of taking two games from the Wolverines (52-8), who hadn't lost back-to-back games all season, didn't seem to phase Tech (49-17), according to right fielder Whitney Davis. "We knew we wanted to leave everything on the field," right fielder Whitney Davis said. "We didn't want to fall short. We knew that this was elimination Sunday and we could potentially be going home, but we didn't want that to happen - we wanted to obtain our goals and knew we were so close to doing it." After the two teams scored just two runs in the first two games combined, the Hokies exploded for four tallies in the third inning alone to jump out to a healthy lead. Davis got things started with a lead-off infield single and Michigan pulled starter Nikki Nemitz for Jordan Taylor. Caroline Stolle then walked and Jenna Rhodes advanced Stolle and Davis each up a base with a sac bunt. A walk drawn by Erin Ota loaded the bases for Charisse Mariconda, who also picked up four balls to advance to first and bring in Davis for the first run. Tech's Misty Hall then delivered a two-run double - her fourth hit of the day - when she ripped a screamer off the third baseman's glove that ricocheted into foul territory. Mariconda moved to third on the play, and would soon come home for Tech's fourth run on a grounder to short by Kelsey Hoffman, jarring the ball loose from Michigan's catcher in the process on a play at the plate. Tech added single runs in each of the next two innings to make the lead a little more comfortable at 6-0. Davis provided a memorable moment in the fourth when she hit her first career home run just over the right field fence, while in the fifth, center fielder Jessica Everhart laced an RBI single into left field to plate Hall, who had earlier reached on a fielder's choice. Michigan was able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth when Dorian Shaw skied a solo home run to left field - one of just three hits allowed in the contest by Angela Tincher, who struck out seven batters in the deciding game and 32 in 20 innings of work on the weekend. It was the only home run of the series for Michigan, which came into the weekend having hit 54 in 57 games. The Women's College World Series will take place at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium May 29-June 4. The Hokies will face off against Texas A&M on Thursday at a time to be determined, and it will be telecast by ESPN. "We're going to have fun," head coach Scot Thomas said about the upcoming trip to Oklahoma City. "We're going to enjoy our time and be appreciative of the privilege we've got and the opportunity to go there."