GREENVILLE, N.C. – The Virginia Tech softball team saw its modest three-game winning streak broken Sunday afternoon, falling to East Carolina University 4-0 in both team’s regular-season finales. The highlight of the game came in the top of the seventh inning when senior Jenna Rhodes singled and then stole second base for the 114th swipe of her career, a new school record.
A scoreless game in the fifth inning was busted open when the Pirates played small ball in plating two runs. The first three batters all reached on infield singles and then a sharp shot up the middle by Marina Gusman-Brown drove in two runs. East Carolina added two more runs on a clutch two-out double in the sixth inning to ice the game.
Tech was its own worst enemy in the field as it failed to field several bunts put down by the Pirates and even botched a run down when ECU failed to get down a suicide squeeze. That same batter then laced a two-RBI single to center field for the lone runs of the game.
Tech also stranded seven runners on the base paths in being shut out for the first time in 14 games. ECU star pitcher Toni Paisley had a lot to do with that as she picked up her 30th win in the circle and the Pirates picked up their 40th win of the year.
Kenzie Roark (L, 21-17) went the six innings for the Hokies. She allowed four runs (two earned) on 11 hits (eight of the infield variety) with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Hokies struggled at the plate for all seven innings, picking up just four hits. Charisse Mariconda singled in the first inning, Kristin Graham singled in the fourth inning and Whitney Davis singled in the sixth inning. Rhodes went 1-for-4 to extend her hitting streak to 13 games. She broke Callie Rhodes’ record of 113 stolen bases and also picked up her 49th stolen base of the season.
Tech (27-27) will face Maryland Friday night in the first round of the single-elimination ACC Tournament in Raleigh, N.C. Maryland will be the No. 4 seed and the Hokies will be the fifth seed after Maryland was rained out at home against regular-season champion Georgia Tech Sunday. Friday’s game will be the final one of the evening and is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Maryland took two-of-three games from Tech at Blacksburg earlier this year.