BLACKSBURG - A seven-run sixth inning by the Virginia Tech softball team helped propel the Hokies to an 11-5 win over No. 21 Florida State Friday night at Tech Softball Park in front of a raucous 839 fans on Military Appreciation Night.
Tech jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning, scoring four runs, highlighted by a two-run home run from Kelsey Mericka and an RBI double from Betty Rose. The Seminoles didn’t give up and scored a run in the second inning and then plated four runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-4 lead.
That’s the way it stood for a while until Tech used a costly Seminole error in the sixth inning to open the floodgates. With one out in the inning, Dani Anderson lifted a seemingly routine fly ball to left field, but Kirstin Austin dropped it, allowing Anderson to reach second base. Kristen Froehlich walked and Rose was intentionally walked to load the bases for pinch hitter Logan Spaw. As she’s done multiple times this year, she came through in the clutch and singled to right field to plate pinch runners Nina Compton and Laura Wolff and give Tech a 6-5 lead. Lauren Gaskill drew a walk to load the bases and then freshman Kylie McGoldrick tripled to center field to clear the bases. It was the first triple this year hit by a Tech player. Courtney Liddle then broke out the big stick and crushed a two-run home run to left field to make it 11-5.
Jasmin Harrell got the start and went 4.1 innings in the no decision. She allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Bailey Liddle got the win in relief to move to 8-3 on the year. She went 2.2 innings, allowing just one hit while picking up a strikeout.
Virginia native Lacey Waldrop got the start for FSU, but didn’t last long. She got just one out before being pulled, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk. Monica Perry (L, 15-4) gave up seven runs, but only one was earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Jessica Nori got the final out.
At the plate, Tech had eight hits, led by two from McGoldrick (3 RBIs). Gaskill, Courtney Liddle, Mericka, Rose, Dani Anderson and Spaw each had one.
The win is Tech’s 10th in a row and moves them to 28-12, 7-2 in the ACC. Florida State drops to 33-8, 8-2 in the league. The two teams will play the doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon. Admission is free.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).