March 20, 2012
Hokies rally to sweep Cornell
Rose's walk-off grand slam caps wild evening
Cornell (6-7) 0000002262
Virginia Tech (19-12) 030030X681
  • Tech Softball Park
Cornell (6-8) 0030100452
Virginia Tech (20-12) 00000268100
  • Tech Softball Park - 308

BLACKSBURG – Tuesday’s softball doubleheader between Virginia Tech and Cornell featured a little bit of everything: wind, rain, lightning, a weather delay, rainbows, a walk-off grand slam and, most importantly, a pair of Hokie wins. Tech beat the Big Red 6-2 in the first game and then rallied from a 4-0 deficitlate to win the second game 8-4 in wild fashion.

In the first game, the Hokies jumped out to a 6-0 lead and threatened to end the game early, but couldn’t score and then eventually had to sit through a 1:51 rain/wind/lightning delay in the top of the seventh inning.

Tech scored three runs in the third inning and three more in the fifth inning to break it open. Cornell scored two runs in the seventh inning to make it interesting, but couldn’t get any more as the Hokies held on for the win.

Kat Banks led the way with a breakout game, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Kelsey Mericka had two hits while Marra Hvozdovic, Bailey Liddle and Bkaye Smith each had one.

Isabella Corrao (W, 3-1) went 6.1 innings, allowing a run on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Lauren Darden picked up the last two outs, allowing a hit and a walk.

In the second game, the Big Red came out energized while the Hokies couldn’t get anything going at the plate. After a scoreless first two innings, Cornell jumped on the Hokies in the third inning. After a pair of singles, Jenny Edwards crushed a Bailey Liddle offering to left-center field for a three-run home run to make it 3-0. Cornell scratched across a run in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout. That runner reached on a walk, moved to second base on an illegal pitch, to third on a ground out and scored on another ground out as the Big Red failed to get a hit in the inning, but still scored a run.

Down, but not out, the Hokies continued to fight despite the deficit. In the sixth inning, Courtney Liddle scored on a single by Mericka and then Betty Rose scored on a single by Banks to cut it to 4-2.

In the seventh, pinch hitters Dani Anderson and Kristen Froehlich came off the bench to spark the offense with a pair of singles and then Smith moved them over with a sacrifice bunt. Lauren Gaskill then battled off several pitches with foul balls before singling to right field to tie up the game. Kylie McGoldrick reached on a fielder’s choice, but on the play, a wild throw allowed Gaskill to stay on the bases. Courtney Liddle was then intentionally walked to load up the bases for Betty Rose, setting the stage for drama.

Rose wasted no time, blasting the first pitch she saw to deep left-center field for a walk-off grand slam to give the Hokies an 8-4 win. It was Rose’s second career grand slam, but the first walk-off home run of her career.

Bailey Liddle went four innings, allowing four runs on four hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout in a no decision. Jasmin Harrell (W, 11-8) came in and settled things down, pitching the final three innings. She allowed a hit and struck out four in picking up the win in relief.

Tech struggled at the plate until late, but finished strong. The Hokies were led by two hits apiece from Banks and Mericka, along with one apiece from Rose, Gaskill, Anderson, Froehlich, Courtney Liddle and McGoldrick.

The Hokies (20-12) will head to NC State this weekend for a three-game ACC series with the Wolfpack. The two will play the doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday at Dail Stadium.

For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).

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