FARMVILLE, Va. - The Virginia Tech softball team split a doubleheader Wednesday night at Lancer Field in non-conference action, dropping the first game 10-7 but then holding on for an exciting 4-3 win in the night cap.
In the opener, the Hokies made two big comebacks, but the pitching staff couldn’t hold the hot-hitting Lancers when it counted as Tech fell 10-7. The Hokies scored in the top of the first inning when Misty Hall’s single drove in Richelle McGarva, who was hit by a pitch. But Longwood responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first and another in the second inning.
In the third, Hall tripled to drive in Kristen Froehlich, but Longwood answered with a run to make it 5-2. Tech scored two runs in the sixth to close the gap to one. Ashton Ward tripled and scored on Kristina Cruz’s double to right field. Pinch runner Ella Miller came around to score on McGarva’s single to cut it to a one-run deficit. But once again, the Hokies’ pitchers couldn’t get it done as Longwood put five runs in the sixth inning, capped by a monster three-run home run from Camille Ketsdever off Kenzie Roark, who was brought back in after being pulled earlier in the game.
The home run would be large as the Hokies got three runs in the top of the seventh inning to make it interesting, but in the end, the deficit was too much. Courtney Liddle hit her eight home run of the season to make it 10-5. Kristin Graham drove in Ward with a single and pinch runner Stephanie Kujawa scored on Marra Hvozdovic’s single to center field. But on the play, Hvozdovic was thrown out at second base to end the game.
The Hokies had 10 hits, led by two from Hall, who also had two RBI. Hvozdovic had two hits and an RBI and McGarva, Froehlich, Liddle, Ward, Gram and Cruz had one hit apiece.
Roark (L, 6-17) went a total of 1.1 innings, giving up five runs on six hits with two walks and no strikeouts. Ward pitched the middle 4.2 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts.
In the second game, things were scoreless until the Hokies got rolling in the fourth inning. Hall was hit by a pitch and then Ward singled up the middle before Graham hit a three-run home run to make it 3-0. But once again, Longwood fought back with an RBI single and a two-run home run from Ketsdever to tie it up in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Tech took the lead back for good when Cruz singled in Miller, who was running for Graham after she doubled down the line. That run would be the game winner as the Hokies held on in the final two innings for the split.
After a rough first game from the pitching staff, freshman Jasmin Harrell threw a nice game to move to 9-9 on the year. She carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning before giving up those three runs. She went the distance, allowing three runs on three hits with no walks a career-high 11 strikeouts.
At the plate, Graham had two hits and three RBI to lead the offense. Cruz, Ward, Hvozdovic and Froehlich each had one hit.
Tech (19-29, 5-10 ACC) will step back into conference play this weekend with a three-game series against the University of North Carolina. The two will play the doubleheader on Saturday at noon and then the single game on Sunday at 1 o’clock. Saturday’s games coincide with the annual Spring Football Game, which begins at 2 p.m. Parking is open for both events to all starting at 9 a.m. and fans attending are asked to arrive early to avoid missing any of the action.