TEMPE, Ariz. – Led by a big day at the plate from sophomore Betty Rose, the Virginia Tech softball team opened play at the Diamond Devil Invitational Friday morning with a pair of victories at Farrington Stadium. The Hokies opened the day with an 8-0, five inning win over Weber State before dispatching Florida Gulf Coast, 10-3.
In the first inning of the first game, Kat Banks scored on Kristen Froehlich’s ground ball to make it 1-0, and then the Hokies’ offense ignited while Weber State’s defense fell apart. Tech scored four runs in the second inning to make it 5-0. Marra Hvozdovic led off with a triple and scored on Kelsey Hensel’s single. Pinch runner Nina Compton scored on Banks’ single and Bkaye Smith scored on a wild pitch before Banks came in on Dani Anderson’s double to the gap.
In the third, Rose came home on Smith’s double to right field and then two more runs came in on two separate Weber State errors to make it 8-0 in favor of the Hokies.
At the plate, Anderson and Hensel each had two hits to lead the way while Banks, Smith, Rose and Hvozdovic each had one.
In the circle, Kenzie Roark (W, 9-3) faced the minimum, but a leadoff single in the top of the fifth inning spoiled the potential perfect game. She had four strikeouts, allowing just that one hit.
The Hokies picked up in the second game where they left off from game one as they plated four runs in the first inning. Richelle McGarva and Anderson both singled and then Courtney Liddle launched a three-run home run. Later in the inning, Rose crushed a solo home run to left field to make it 4-0. The Eagles got a run back in the second on a solo home run, but Tech got that run back in the second when Anderson delivered a two-out single down the line to plate Banks.
Trailing 5-3, the Eagles threatened in the fifth inning, loading the bases, but Roark snuffed the rally with a strikeout. Tech then plated five runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. With the bases loaded, Froehlich singled to the gap to drive in a run and another scored on an error on the play. Rose then blasted a three-run home run to right-center field to give the Hokies some breathing room.
Rose had a monster game, going 4-for-4 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored. Banks, Anderson and Froehlich each had two hits with McGarva, Liddle, Hvozdovic and Hensel each had one.
Jasmin Harrell (W, 4-1) went 4.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Roark picked up her second save of the season by going 2.2 innings. She allowed just three hits while striking out five.
With the wins, the Hokies move to 16-5 overall and 5-2 on their Spring Break trip. The team will be back in action on Saturday, taking on No. 8 and host Arizona State at 3:30 p.m. local time (5:30 Eastern) and Campbell at 7:30 p.m. local time (9:30 Eastern).
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