CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team scored six runs in the last two innings to complete an improbable rally and stun the Hokies with a 6-5 win Saturday night at The Park in ACC action.
The game was originally scheduled to start at noon, but was delayed until 6:30 p.m. due to heavy rain in the area. Then, right before the game was supposed to begin, lightning entered the area and caused a two-hour delay.
But the delays didn’t seem to bother the Hokies as they came out hot and scored two runs in the second inning. After Richelle McGarva drew a two-out walk, Bkaye Smith singled to center and then Ashton Ward continued her recent hot streak with a double to the gap to plate both runners.
In the fourth inning, the Hokies looked to break it open with a three-spot to take a 5-0 lead. Kat Banks was hit by a pitch and after stealing second base, she trotted home when McGarva hit her first home run of the season. Ward then doubled down the line and scored on Dani Anderson’s long single off the wall.
The Hokies had several chances to end the game early, but couldn’t get the timely hit when they needed it and ended up stranding 11 batters. Those missed opportunities would come back to haunt them in a big way.
Even with the wasted chances, Tech appeared to be in control as it took a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning. Tech starter Jasmin Harrell gave up a leadoff single, but then got a strikeout. After giving up another hit, she gave up a triple to Cynthia Javaras to make it 5-2. Tech head coach Scot Thomas quickly made the move to bring in Kenzie Roark, who after getting a groundout, gave up a single to allow another run. UVa left a runner on, but had cut the deficit to two at 5-3.
In the seventh inning, Roark couldn’t find the strike zone and paid dearly. She gave up an infield single, but got a groundout for the first out. She then walked a batter and got another ground out to put Tech one out away from victory. The senior then proceeded to walk the next three batters to plate two runs and tie the game, and after Harrell was put back in with the bases loaded, Taylor Williams singled to center field to end the game and complete the improbable comeback, shocking the Hokies with the rally.
Harrell went 5.1 innings in picking up a no decision. She allowed three runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Roark blew the save and ended up with the loss to drop to 14-7. She went 1.1 innings, allowing three runs on two hits with four walks.
With the win, Virginia captures the season series for the second straight season. The Cavaliers improve to 21-23, 4-10 in the ACC while the Hokies fall to 31-13, 8-7 in the conference.
Tech will try to get back on the positive track Tuesday, hosting Longwood in a doubleheader starting at 5 o’clock.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).