JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A big home run early and a four-run rally in the seventh inning lifted the Virginia Tech softball team to a 7-2 win over defending A-Sun Conference champion Jacksonville University Saturday night on the Dolphins’ home field.
Tech wasted little time getting on the board, scoring a run in the first inning on a single by Courtney Liddle, her ninth-straight hit. Kelsey Mericka drew a walk in the second inning and came home the easy way when Kristen Froehlich blasted a two-run home run down the left field line to make it 3-0. The Dolphins cut into the lead with a solo home run in the third inning and then made it a 3-2 game with a run in the sixth. The Dolphins had a chance to take the lead, putting runners on second and third with just one out, but Tech starter Jasmin Harrell coaxed two ground balls to escape the jam.
Tech tacked on a big insurance run in the seventh inning when Froehlich’s hard shot to shortstop took a bad hop and was misplayed, allowing Betty Rose to score. But the Hokies weren’t done, plating three more. Pinch runner Laura Wolff scored on Bkaye Smith’s single up the middle and then pinch runner Jessica Rappe and Smith both scored on Lauren Gaskill’s double to left field.
Harrell (W, 2-0) went the distance in the circle for the Hokies, tossing another strong game. She allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Gaskill and Froehlich each had two hits to lead the way while McGoldrick, Liddle, Mericka and Smith each had one.
Tech (4-0) will wrap up play for the weekend on Sunday morning, taking on UNCG at 11 a.m. The Hokies beat the Spartans (0-4) 10-1 in five innings on Friday.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).