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LYNCHBURG and BLACKSBURG, Va. – Behind four home runs, the Virginia Tech softball team finished off its doubleheader against Liberty University with a 10-2 victory in a game that was started at Liberty Softball Field on Wednesday and finished at Tech Softball Park on Thursday evening.
After winning the first game 5-3, the Hokies didn’t waste any time in game two as the first five batters all reached base and scored. Ashton Ward and Laura Wolff led off with back-to-back singles. Courtney Liddle walked to load the bases, and then Kristen Froehlich walked in the first run. Alyssa DiMartino relieved Tiffani Smith in the circle, but Betty Rose then smashed her second homer of the doubleheader, her first career grand slam, to give the Hokies a quick 5-0 advantage. Rose is now tied for third all-time in season home runs (11), and only Megan Evans has hit more (16, 2005; 14, 2004).
Richelle McGarva led off the top of the fourth with a single to left field. The game was then halted due to a lightning delay. Following a huge downpour in which Liberty officials elected to not tarp the field, the game was postponed until Thursday night.
In the top of the fifth inning, Wolff singled off the pitcher’s leg and then Froehlich smashed a two-run home run to right-center field to make it 7-0. The Flames got on the board with an RBI single from Sammi Shivock in the fifth inning.
Freshman Kat Banks led off the sixth inning with a solo home run to left-center field, her fifth of the season. Rose doubled and moved up on a wild pitch and scored on McGarva’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Banks then stepped up and cranked her second home run of the game, a towering shot that twisted back into play and off the foul pole to make it 10-1. Meredith Crisante led off the seventh inning for Liberty with a solo home run, but that would be it as the Hokies eased their way to the victory.
Jasmin Harrell (W, 17-8) went five innings, allowing one run on five hits with two strikeouts. Kenzie Roark pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on a hit with two strikeouts.
At the plate, Wolff led the way with three hits, tying her career high. Rose and Banks each had two hits while Ward, Froehlich, McGarva and Cruz each had one hit.
Tech (35-16) will return to action this weekend, hosting Maryland in its final ACC series of the year this weekend. The two teams will play the doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon and will then play the single game on Sunday at 1 o’clock.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).