AUBURN, Ala. – Behind a five-hit shutout from Jasmin Harrell, the Virginia Tech softball team upset No. 15 Oklahoma State 3-0 Friday in the first game of the ACC/Big 12/SEC Challenge at Auburn University before falling to No. 4 Oklahoma 10-0 in five innings.
In the opener, the Hokies got a gem from Harrell (W, 4-0) to lift them to a 3-0 upset win over the No. 15 Cowgirls. Harrell fought through two big chances for the Cowgirls, but shut the door when she needed to, picking up her first shutout of the season. She went the distance, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out two.
After a scoreless first three innings, Tech strung together a few hits and used some miscues by OSU to plate three runs. Dani Anderson led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and moved to second base on Courtney Liddle’s single to left, Tech’s first hit of the game. Anderson was put out at third on a ground ball by Betty Rose, but both Liddle and Rose moved up a base on a wild pitch and Liddle scored on Kristen Froehlich’s single through the left side to make it 1-0. Rose came home to score on Kelsey Mericka’s single off the pitcher’s glove and pinch runner Nina Compton eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Logan Spaw.
OSU had a chance its best chance just half an inning earlier, loading the bases on a pair of hits and a walk, but Harrell Coaxed a two-out ground ball to end the inning.
Tech had just three hits, all in the fourth inning, but played great defense behind Harrell to pick up its first win over a top-15 team since beating No. 6 Michigan twice on May 24, 2008 in the Super Regionals to advance to the Women’s College World Series. It’s also the first shutout against a top-15 team since Angela Tincher blanked No. 11 Tennessee 4-0 in the Regionals a week earlier.
The Hokies had no time to rest as they took on No. 4 Oklahoma immediately after. Things got off to a rocky start as the Sooners scored a run in the first inning without getting a hit. They added three runs in the second inning and four more in the third to break the game open.
Tech’s hitters had little success against Michelle Gascoigne and Kristen Allen, picking up just three singles, one from Liddle, one from Rose and one from Kylie McGoldrick.
Bailey Liddle (L, 2-1) got the start and gave up five runs (two earned) on four hits with a pair of strikeouts in three innings. Isabella Corrao didn’t record an out, giving up three runs on a hit with a pair of walks. Lauren Darden made her Tech debut, giving up two runs on three hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout in 1.1 innings while Kat Banks pitched the final 2/3 of the game.
Virginia Tech (7-1) is scheduled to play No. 2 Alabama Saturday at 10 a.m. local time, weather permitting. Heavy rain is forecast to move into the area overnight, but decisions will not be made until the morning.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).