Hokies hold off Radford, 2-0
Liddle, Harrell push Tech to big win
February 23, 2011
Virginia Tech (7-2) 2000000221
Radford (2-3) 0000000020
  • Dedmon Center Field - 252

RADFORD, Va. - A two-run home run from Courtney Liddle in the first inning and a stellar pitching performance from Jasmin Harrell lifted the Virginia Tech softball team to a big 2-0 win over regional rival Radford Wednesday afternoon at Dedmon Center Field, snapping the Highlanders’ 17-game home winning streak.

The game was a pitcher’s duel between the two schools as just four hits combined were recorded. One of those came in the first inning and proved to be the difference. Freshman Dani Anderson walked with two outs in the top of the first and then stole second base. Radford had a chance to catch Anderson, but shortstop Jessie Hutchens couldn’t handle the short throw and Anderson slid in safely. That proved to be a big play as on a 2-2 pitch, Liddle hit a line-drive home run to straightaway center - her first of the season - to make it 2-0.

That would be all Harrell would need (W, 2-0) as she flirted with a no-hitter. She dominated the Highlanders, keeping them off balance with a variety of pitches. With one out in the seventh inning, Radford finally got its first hit, a double by Shannon Keefe off the wall in left field over the head of Marra Hvozdovic. But Hvozdovic didn’t give up on the play, picking up the ball and firing it in to Anderson at shortstop, who caught Keefe off the bag and flipped it to Bkaye Smith at second base for the huge second out.

That play would also loom large as Radford got a walk and a single that would have scored a run. Radford loaded the bases with two outs and Tech head coach Scot Thomas brought in Kenzie Roark, who got a weak ground ball from Hutchens to end the game.

Harrell was dynamic in the game, going 6.2 innings. She allowed no runs on two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Roark picked up her first save of the season with 1/3 of an inning pitched. The Hokies have now recorded three saves in nine games this year, just three off the school record of six set in the entire 2005 season.

Radford’s pitching combination of Chelsea Kelley and Stephanie Dameron kept Tech’s bats at bay all day except for the first inning. Only Kat Banks had a single to left field to go with Liddle’s round-tripper.

Tech improved to 7-2 with the win while two-time defending Big South champion Radford fell to 2-3 with the loss.

The Hokies will now head to Conway, S.C., for a tournament hosted by Coastal Carolina University. They will open play on Friday with a non-conference game against Boston College at noon and then take on Rhode Island at 2 o’clock.

For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).