BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech softball team beat the Cornell Big Red and the rain Wednesday afternoon at Tech Softball Park in a doubleheader. The Hokies picked up a 9-0 run-rule victory in game one, and then came back to beat the Big Red 6-3 in a five inning, rain-shortened game in the second game.
In the opener, Tech got off to a quick start, scoring a run in the first inning. Kat Banks singled to lead off the rally, stole second base, moved to third base on a passed ball and scored on Dani Anderson’s groundout. The Hokies piled it on in the second inning, plating four more runs. Stephanie Kujawa drove in two runs with a single and Richelle McGarva scored two more runs with a shot to center field.
In the fourth inning, Kujawa went deep for her second home run of the season, a solo shot to left field to make it 6-0. After McGarva and Anderson reached base, Kristen Froehlich cranked a three-run home run to left give Tech a comfortable 9-0 lead.
At the plate, McGarva and Kujawa each had two hits to lead the way. Banks, Froehlich, Ward and Bkaye Smith each had one hit for the Hokies. Kenzie Roark (W, 10-5) was in command, tossing a one-hit shutout. She went the full five innings, walking one and striking out six.
In the second game, the Big Red jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning when Tech starter Jasmin Harrell gave up her ninth and 10th home runs of the season, a two-run bomb down the left field line and a solo shot to left field later in the inning.
In the fourth inning, the Hokie bats finally woke up as Tech scored five runs. Banks led off with a single and stole second base before scoring on McGarva’s single to right field. Anderson then tied it up with a two-run round-tripper to left field to make it 3-3. Kujawa then came through in the clutch with a two-out RBI and Kelsey Hensel drove her in to make it 5-3 as the game became official after four innings with the bad weather looming.
In the top of the fifth inning, Roark relieved Harrell and got into trouble, loading the bases. But she battled back for a big strikeout to end the inning and the threat. Tech got an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Froehlich drove in Banks with a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the sixth inning, Cornell got a single and then Roark struck out two batters before the skies opened up, forcing a 20-minute rain/lightning delay before the game was called. The game reverted back to the last full inning completed, which was the fifth inning, so Tech was credited with a 6-3 win in five official innings.
Harrell (W, 9-2) wasn’t at her best, but kept the Hokies in it until the offense came around. She went 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. Roark (S, 3) pitched an inning, allowing no runs on a hit with two walks and two strikeouts to earn the save. She had two more strikeouts in the sixth, but those do not officially count.
At the plate, McGarva picked up two hits to lead the way while Banks, Anderson, Froehlich, Ward, Kujawa and Hensel each had one.
The Hokies (21-8) will be back in action at home, hosting conference-leading Boston College in a three-game set at Tech Softball Park. The Hokies and Eagles will play a doubleheader on Saturday at noon and a single game on Sunday at 1 o’clock.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).