Hokies fall to #8 Arizona State
Banks picks up first collegiate home run
March 12, 2011
Virginia Tech (16-6) 2000010361
(8) Arizona State (24-1) 007003X1090
  • Farrington Stadium - 838

TEMPE, Ariz. – Despite a spirited effort, the Virginia Tech softball team fell to eighth-ranked Arizona State 10-3 Saturday afternoon at Farrington Stadium at the Diamond Devil Invitational.

The Hokies jumped out to a surprising 2-0 lead in the first inning off ASU star Dallas Escobedo. Kat Banks led off the game with a solo home run to center, the first of her young career. Richelle McGarva doubled down the line and came in to score on Courtney Liddle’s double to the gap.

Tech starter Kenzie Roark was cruising against the high-powered Sun Devil offense until the third inning when ASU’s bats came alive. Three hits and a walk gave ASU the 3-2 lead and then an absolutely terrifying play happened in the outfield. Krista Donnenwirth lifted a fly ball to the gap and Banks, in centerfield, along with right fielder Marra Hvozdovic both went head-first for the ball and collided as the ball squirted through to the fence. As both players lay motionless, Donnenwirth came around for an inside-the-park home run. For nearly 10 minutes, the two players stayed on the outfield grass before both walked slowly off the field and were taken to the local hospital.

After the lengthy break, Kaylyn Castillo hit a two-run home run to make it 7-2, forcing a pitching change for Tech. In the sixth inning, Liddle drew a walk and moved to second base on a groundout and to third base on a wild pitch. Betty Rose then roped a single up the middle to plate Liddle to make it 7-3. ASU plated three runs in the sixth inning to make it 10-3.

At the plate, the Hokies picked up six hits off Escobedo (W, 11-0), two apiece coming from Liddle and McGarva and one apiece from Banks and Rose. Escobedo struck out a career-high 16 for the Sun Devils.

Roark (L, 9-4) went 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on five hits with two walks. Jasmin Harrell went the final 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with a strikeout. While the loss was the worst for the Hokies on the season in terms of run differential, Tech did manage to go the full seven innings. State had picked up run-rule victories in eight of its last nine games.

Tech drops to 16-6 overall while the Sun Devils move to 24-1 on the season. Tech will be back in action later Saturday against Campbell at 7:30 p.m. local time.

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