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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A grand slam by sophomore Kat Banks in the sixth inning broke open a tie game to lift the fourth-seeded Virginia Tech softball team to a 5-2 win over fifth-seeded Maryland late Thursday night in the first round of the ACC Softball Championship at UNC’s Anderson Stadium.
Tech had its first real chance to score in the third inning, loading the bases, but Courtney Liddle struck out and Kelsey Mericka popped to first base to end the threat. The Terrapins made Tech pay for not capitalizing, scoring a run in the fourth inning on a back-to-back singles with a passed ball sandwiched in the middle of the action.
Trailing 1-0 going to the sixth inning, the Hokies rallied with five runs. Kylie McGoldrick was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved up on a wild pitch. Liddle hit an absolute rocket off Maryland pitcher Kendra Knight’s pitching wrist for a single, moving McGoldrick up to third base. After Mericka grounded out to move Liddle up to second base, Logan Spaw walked to load the bases. Betty Rose then singled to center to tie up the game before Banks roped a laser over the right-centerfield fence to make it 5-1.
Jasmin Harrell (W, 28-13) went the distance, allowing two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Knight was nearly untouchable until Liddle’s big single rattled her. She allowed five runs on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).