Hokies fall twice at Leadoff Classic
Tech back in action Saturday
February 26, 2010
Virginia Tech (4-6) 0101000232
Hofstra (6-0) 111000X311
  • Columbus, GA - 78
(6) Missouri (5-2) 0202122990
Virginia Tech (4-7) 1000300433
  • Columbus, GA - 82

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Virginia Tech softball team dropped a pair of games Friday at the exalted NFCA Leadoff Classic. Tech opened the day with a tough 3-2 loss to undefeated Hofstra before suffering a 9-4 loss to No. 6/4 Missouri.

Trailing 1-0 in the second inning of the first game, Ashton Ward tied it up with a single to the gap to drive in Courtney Liddle from second base. But Tech couldn’t hold the lead as the Pride plated a run in the second and one more in third, one on a groundout and one on a wild pitch.

Liddle brought the Hokies back to within a run in the fourth inning with a towering home run down the left field line, her fourth of the year. Tech had a chance in the seventh, getting a leadoff single from Ward. But Kristen Froehlich popped up the bunt attempt for the first out and then pinch hitter Kelsey Hensel fouled out to left and Bkaye Smith struck out looking to end the game.

Ward led the way with a pair of hits while Liddle had the other.

Tech’s pitchers struggled, walking five and delivering five wild pitches while the defense committed two errors. Kristin Graham (L, 0-2) lasted just an inning, allowing two runs (one earned) with a strikeout, four walks and four wild pitches. Kenzie Roark went two innings, allowing an unearned run with a strikeout, a walk and a wild pitch. Jasmin Harrell pitched three innings, allowing no runs on a hit with a pair of strikeouts.

The second game of the day didn’t fare much better as the Hokies were downed by nationally ranked Missouri, 9-4

The Hokies got on the board in the bottom of the first when Missouri pitcher Michelle Nottelman couldn’t find the strike zone. Nottelman walked the based loaded and then walked Betty Rose to plate a run. A passed ball and an error on the same play allowed Missouri to score two runs in the second inning to take the lead right back.

In the fourth, the Tigers plated two more runs – both unearned – on a bases loaded walk and an RBI groundout to make it 4-1. Missouri plated a run on a ground out in the fifth to make it 5-1, but Tech clawed its way back into things in the bottom of the inning. Smith and Davis drew walks before Richelle McGarva launched her first home run – a three-run shot to deep left-center – to break up the no hitter and bring the Hokies to within one.

But the Tigers showed why they were in the WCWS last year, plating two runs in the sixth on a monstrous two-run bomb from Nicole Hudson to widen the lead back to three. The Tigers added two more unearned runs in the seventh to account for their scoring.

Roark (L, 1-4) went the first four innings, allowing four unearned runs on three hits with six walks, two hit batters and a strikeout. Harrell went the final three stanzas, giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

At the plate, McGarva, Liddle and Betty Rose (first career) had the hits for the Hokies.

Tech (4-7) will look to break its six-game losing streak on Saturday. The Hokies will open with Auburn at 11 a.m., and will then play Illinois at 6:30 p.m.