BLACKSBURG - Bailey Liddle twirled a five-hit shutout to help lead the Virginia Tech softball team to a split of a pair of games with North Carolina Saturday afternoon at Tech Softball Park. In the first game, the Tar Heels rallied from two runs to beat Tech 3-2 in nine innings before the Hokies broke through with a 5-0 win in the second game.
In the second contest, Tech got a run in the first inning when Courtney Liddle doubled home Lauren Gaskill and added to the lead in the second inning when Gaskill scored on a groundout by Dani Anderson. Gaskill finally got into the action at the plate in the fourth inning when she cleared the bases with a three-run double to the gap to make it 5-0.
Bailey Liddle (W, 6-3) was outstanding, limiting the Tar Heels to just five hits in picking up the shutout. She walked two and struck out two. At the plate, Gaskill led the way with two hits, two runs scored and thraee RBIs. Courtney Liddle, Betty Rose and Kat Banks each had one. The big news of the day was that the staff pulled the redshirt off freshman Katey Smith. The move paid off as she picked up a hit and scored a run, starting in the designated player spot.
In the first game, the Hokies scored two unearned runs in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead, but the Tar Heels got a run back in the third on a single and another in the fourth on a home run. The game went to extra innings, where Tech had a chance in both the eighth and ninth, but couldn’t get the key hit needed to win, while UNC got a pinch-hit double in the top of the ninth to win it.
Jasmin Harrell (L, 10-7) pitched well, but was saddled with the loss. She allowed three runs on seven hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts. At the plate, Rose led the way with three hits while Gaskill and Kylie McGoldrick each had two. They were the only three Tech players to get hits in the game.
Tech (18-11, 1-1 ACC) and UNC (20-8, 1-1 ACC) will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday at noon. The time is a change from the original schedule in an effort to escape projected weather in the area.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).