BLACKSBURG – A two-run home run from Bree Hanafin in the top of the first inning would be all Maryland pitcher Kerry Hickey would need as the Terrapins completed a three-game sweep of Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win at Tech Softball Park.
Jasmin Harrell (L, 17-9) gave up a leadoff single and then Hanafin went opposite field, sneaking it just inside the right field foul pole, marking Harrell’s school-record 24th home run allowed this season.
After giving up those hits, the pitching staff settled down, allowing just one more hit the rest of the way, but it wouldn’t matter as the Hokies’ bats were silenced by Hickey. A double by Courtney Liddle in the second inning and a single from Richelle McGarva with two outs in the seventh inning would be it as the senior tossed a two-hit shutout with two walks and five strikeouts.
Harrell went two-plus innings, allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Kenzie Roark pitched well in relief, giving up just a single while striking out three in 5.0 innings.
Maryland improved to 37-14 overall, 11-5 in the ACC while the Hokies fell to 35-19, finishing league play with a 9-12 mark.
The sweep is the first in conference play against the Hokies since Georgia Tech accomplished it last season and the three-game losing streak is the longest for Tech this year.
The loss assures that Tech will play in the 4/5 game in the first round of the ACC Tournament with the winner taking on either the No. 1 (Georgia Tech) or 8 (TBD) seed in the second round. The Hokies sit in fifth place with Florida State fourth at 8-9 in the league, but the Seminoles have a three-game set against Georgia Tech next weekend.
Tech’s five seniors – Ashton Ward, Alicia Field, Kristina Cruz, McGarva and Roark – were honored before the game on Senior Day.
The Hokies will wrap up the regular season on Thursday at home with a doubleheader against Appalachian State starting at 5 o’clock.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).