BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech softball team closed out the regular season on a high note this evening, sweeping a doubleheader against Appalachian State with scores of 8-0 and 7-3. Jasmin Harrell threw a one-hit shutout in five innings in game two, and Bkaye Smith had a career day, earning four hits and three runs. The wins lift the Hokies to 37-19 while the Mountaineers fall to 22-21.
Game 1: Virginia Tech 8, Appalachian State 0 (5 Innings)
Ashton Ward got the Hokies started in the bottom of the first, getting hit by a pitch in the leadoff spot. She stole second and advanced to third on Kristen Froehlich’s fly ball to right. Dani Anderson put the Hokies on the board with an RBI single up the middle, driving in Ward. Courtney Liddle replaced her on first on a fielder’s choice, and Betty Rose then got aboard with a two-out walk. Richelle McGarva kept the inning alive with an RBI single to left, making it 2-0 Tech, before Kat Banks popped out to end the inning.
The Hokies kept it going in the bottom of the second, as Kristina Cruz led off with a four-pitch walk. Bkaye Smith singled to left and Ward drove in the pair, lacing a double to the wall down the left field line. Anderson then duplicated her first-inning performance, putting the Hokies on top 5-0 with an RBI single up the middle.
Three walks and a bunt single for Smith in the third plated another run for the Hokies, putting Tech ahead 6-0 through three.
Hannah Dow broke up Hokie start Jasmin Harrell’s no-hit bid with one out in the top of the fifth, hitting an infield single that came in and out of a diving Cruz’s glove. However, that would be all the Mountaineers would get, as the Hokies scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of the frame for a final score of 8-0 in five innings.
The Hokies totaled nine hits in the game, including three each by Anderson and Smith. Anderson also had three RBI. Ward went 1-for-2 with a double, a walk, a hit by pitch, three runs and two RBI. All nine Hokie batters reached base at least once.
Jasmin Harrell (18-9) had an outstanding performance in the circle, allowing just one hit and one walk through five shutout innings, striking out seven. Caitlin Wainright (5-5) took the loss for the Mountaineers, allowing eight runs on nine hits and eight walks with no strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
Game 2: Virginia Tech 7, Appalachian State 3
Tech did not waste any time in game two, as Ward drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and Froehlich drove her in with a double to center. Liddle then picked up her first RBI of the day, knocking in Froehlich on a groundout to short.
Marra Hvozdovic was a leadoff runner for the Hokies in the second inning, getting on board on an error by pitcher Louise Gibson. Kristina Cruz then drove her home with a double to right field to make it 3-0 Hokies after two.
Kenzie Roark was nearly perfect through the first three innings, allowing just one base runner on Smith’s error at second. However, in the top of the fourth, Megan Rembielak beat out an infield single to short for the Mountaineers’ first hit of the game. Allie Cashion then put Appalachian State on the board with an RBI single to center.
Tech’s offense more than made up for it in the bottom of the fourth, as the Hokies plated three runs on three hits with the help of two Mountaineer errors. Smith got it started, beating out an infield single. Ward got on due to an error by the second baseman, and Froehlich then hit a two RBI single to center. Betty Rose kept it going, beating out a single to the third baseman, which drove in Froehlich, and at the end of the fourth, Tech led 6-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Froehlich led off with a walk. Sarah Ashby pinch ran for her and stole second, putting the Hokies’ season total at 105 swipes which ties the school record set back in 2009. Betty Rose then knocked her in on a sacrifice fly to put Tech up 7-1 heading into the final inning.
Down to the final three outs, Meghan Smith led off the top of the seventh with a hard-hit single to right field. An error by Alicia Field at third base put two runners on, and Morgan Price made it second and third with a ground out to Roark. Hannah Dow drove in Smith on a bloop single that dropped in in shallow right. Sheridan Phillips followed with an RBI single to short, but the infield then stopped the bleeding, as Lindsay Whitlock grounded into a double play to end the game with a final score of 7-3.
Froehlich led the Hokies at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, two runs and three RBI. Betty Rose had two more RBI and Ashton Ward walked and scored twice. The Mountaineers collected five hits in the game, all by different batters, and only Allie Cashion recorded both a run and an RBI.
Louise Gibson (5-7) allowed seven runs, four earned, on six hits and five walks with one strikeout in six innings. Kenzie Roark (17-9) gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits and no walks while striking out five in the full seven innings.
This concludes the 2011 regular season. The Hokies will be back in action next Friday, May 13, when they take on a team that has yet to be determined in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).