Illini pull away late for win over Tech
Hokies wrap up Leadoff Classic Sunday with single game
February 27, 2010
Virginia Tech (4-9) 4000100573
Illinois (13-1) 141013X10122
  • Columbus, GA - 124

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Hokie softball team jumped out to a big lead early, but couldn’t hold on in falling to the University of Illinois, 10-5, Saturday night at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

The Hokies wasted little time in getting on the board, but got some help from the Illini. Bkaye Smith and Courtney Liddle both reached on errors and a walk from Kristin Graham loaded the bases. Senior Whitney Davis came through in the clutch, dumping a pitch into left-center field to plate a pair of runs. Ashton Ward then drove in two more with a two-strike single to center to give the Hokies a quick 4-0 lead on four unearned runs.

But starter Kenzie Roark (L, 1-4) couldn’t hold the early comfortable lead she was given as she struggled mightily in the circle for the 1.2 innings she lasted. Roark showed no control, throwing 63 pitches – just 36 for strikes – in her brief outing, allowing five runs on five hits with three walks, a wild pitch that scored a run and a strikeout as she was taken out trailing 5-4.

Illinois (13-1) tacked on another unearned run in the third inning to make it 6-4. In the fifth inning, Graham singled up the middle to drive in pinch runner Marra Hvozdovic to cut the lead to one before the Illini plated an unearned run in the fifth and three more in the sixth. But Tech could get no closer as the Hokies fell to 0-4 at the tournament and dropped their eighth-straight game.

Jasmin Harrell took over in the second inning and went the rest of the way. She allowed five runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings on four hits and three walks with a strikeout.

Tech had seven hits in the game, led by two from Richelle McGarva. Also picking up hits were Liddle, Graham, Davis, Ward and Kelsey Hensel. Davis had two RBI as did Ward.

Tech (4-9) will wrap up play at the Leadoff Classic Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. game against Nebraska.