Hokies drop final two games to No. 25 Georgia Tech
Tech set to host NRV rival Radford Wednesday
April 10, 2011
(25) Georgia Tech (33-7) 0000311038140
Virginia Tech (29-10) 0100040005111
  • Tech Softball Park - 839
(25) Georgia Tech (34-7) 01024411120
Virginia Tech (29-11) 201000321
  • Tech Softball Park - 591

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech softball team held a lead in both games, but couldn’t seal the deal in falling to No. 25 Georgia Tech twice Sunday as the Yellow Jackets took the ACC series after dropping the first game. The Hokies battled back after falling behind only to drop an 8-5 heartbreaker in nine innings before the Yellow Jackets’ bats awoke in the final game en route to an 11-3 win in six innings.

The action picked up on Sunday with the resumption of game two, which was halted Saturday after three and a half innings. On Saturday, the Hokies struck first in the second inning when pinch hitter Kristina Cruz fisted a single to left field to plate Ward from third base, but Froehlich was tagged out at home on a close play to keep it to a 1-0 game.

The two teams made it through three and a half innings before the skies opened up, halting the game. On Sunday, Tech led off the day’s action with a single in the fourth inning, but got nothing more and then the Yellow Jackets awoke, scoring three quick runs off Kenzie Roark – two off of a home run - in the fifth inning to take the lead.

The Yellow Jackets plated another run in the sixth inning with an RBI groundout to make it 4-1.

But the Hokies didn’t give up and mounted a comeback. Courtney Liddle drew a walk and pinch runner Nina Compton came around to score from first base on Betty Rose’s double to the gap. Rose moved to third on an illegal pitch and scored on Ward’s double to the gap to make it 4-3. Kristen Froehlich tied it up and nearly gave the Hokies the lead, putting a ball off the top of the wall. But it bounced back in play for a triple, plating Ward. Marra Hvozdovic then gave the Hokies the lead with a single up the middle to allow Froehlich to score anyways.

Down 5-4, Georgia Tech was down to its last strike in the seventh inning when Alysha Rudnik went opposite field for a solo home run to tie the game up and then the Yellow Jackets went on to win it in the ninth inning with a two-run home run from Jessica Sinclair. While they took the lead in the ninth on that home run, the Yellow Jackets plated one more run for insurance to give them a three-run lead. The Hokies had a chance in the bottom of the ninth inning, putting two runners on, but couldn’t make a dent in the lead, falling 8-5.

Roark was on her game Saturday, but ran into immediate trouble on Sunday as the Yellow Jackets batted around in the fifth inning to take the lead. Roark went 6.2 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Jasmin Harrell blew the save opportunity and eventually picked up the loss to drop to 13-5. She went 2.1 innings, giving up four runs (three via the long ball) on four hits with two strikeouts.

The Hokies had 11 hits, three from Ward, two each from Rose and Anderson along with one apiece from Liddle, Froehlich, Hvozdovic and Cruz.

After the tough loss, Liddle picked up the spirits with a two-run home run that just cleared the center field fence in the first inning. Georgia Tech wasted little time in slicing into the lead with a leadoff home run in the top of the second inning. The Hokies got that run back in the third inning when Liddle drove in Richelle McGarva with a single to left field. Those would be the only two hits in the game, both coming from Liddle.

In the fourth inning, Georgia Tech loaded the bases and then tied up the game with a pinch-hit, two-out single from Shannon Bear to plate a pair of runs. In the fifth inning, Georgia Tech erupted for four runs, using two singles and two doubles to break open the game.

After an error prolonged the Georgia Tech sixth inning, Kristine Priebe blasted a grand slam off Ward to make it 11-3 and give Georgia Tech enough runs to end the game early.

In the second game, Georgia Tech scored nine of its 11 runs with two outs in the inning.

The pitching staff for the Hokies’ started the weekend strong, but couldn’t hold the hard-hitting Jackets at bay for the whole series. Harrell got the start in game three, going 3.1 innings. She allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Roark (L, 13-6) lasted 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Ward tossed an inning, allowing four unearned runs on three hits with a walk.

Virginia Tech (29-11, 7-5 ACC) will be back in action Wednesday, hosting NRV rival Radford in a single game at Tech Softball Park starting at 7 p.m.

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