GREENVILLE, N.C. – Playing its best day of softball of the year, the Virginia Tech softball team swept a pair of games Saturday at the East Carolina Softball Field. The Hokies opened the day with a 10-0, six-inning win over Campbell and then downed the host Pirates of ECU, 6-0.
For the day, the Hokies scored 16 runs on 22 hits and tossed two shutouts in picking up two quality wins. Both opponents came in with over 30 wins and NCAA RPIs in the top 60 (ECU 48, Campbell 59).
In the first game of the day, the Hokies broke out the bats and got a stellar pitching performance from Kenzie Roark as Tech blanked Campbell 10-0 in six innings. The Camels, who have already won the Atlantic Sun regular-season title and are now 34-14, came into the game hitting .303 with 74 home runs, but Roark shut them down and shut them out for the first time this season.
Tech got on the board in the third inning when Erin Ota singled down the line to plate Kristin Graham. In the fourth inning, Tech struck for five runs to bust it open. Ota’s two-RBI single to right field highlighted the inning. In the fifth, Graham drove in a run with a single to left field to drive in Jessica Everhart.
The Hokies tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning to end things early. Charisse Mariconda singled to right field to plate Jenna Rhodes and Ota and then Everhart drove in Mariconda with a sacrifice fly to make it 10-0.
Ota picked up three hits and three RBI while Mariconda had two hits and three RBI. Graham had two hits and two RBI while Rhodes collected two more hits. Davis and Amber Walker each had a hit in the win.
Roark went the full six innings, allowing just two hits. She walked three and struck out seven in picking up her seventh shutout of the year.
In the second game, Tech opened things with three runs in the top of the first inning. Rhodes led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Ota’s single to right field. Ota scored when Walker reached on a fielding error to make it 2-0. Everhart singled and eventually scored on Graham’s infield single.
In the third inning, Tech added two more runs. Mariconda led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to third on Everhart’s single to right field. A double by Beth Walker down the line plated Mariconda and moved Everhart to third base. Graham drove in the fifth run of the game with a flare single to right to plate Everhart and forced an ECU pitching change.
Tech scored a big insurance run in the seventh to make it 6-0. Mariconda led off with a triple to right field and Everhart drew a walk. Everhart stole second and on the throw to the base, Mariconda alertly took home for another stolen base.
Abbie Rexrode (W, 5-8) was masterful in picking up her first collegiate shutout. She went the distance, allowing just six hits while walking one and striking out three.
At the plate, Mariconda led the way with three hits while Everhart and Graham had two hits each. Rhodes, Ota, Beth Walker and Amber Walker each had one. With her stolen base in the first inning, Rhodes tied the school’s career stolen base record and now sits even with her sister Callie at 113.
Tech (27-26) will wrap up its regular season on Sunday, taking on the Pirates in a single game starting at noon, weather permitting. Tech and Maryland will play Friday night at 7:30 p.m., in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Raleigh, N.C.