KENNESAW, Ga. (hokiesports.com) - Down 3-0 late in the game, the Virginia Tech softball team rallied for four runs to escape with a 4-3 win in eight innings over Kennesaw State Sunday afternoon at Bailey Park to wrap up the Phyllis Rafter Memorial.
The Owls (10-2) got on the board in the third inning, scoring three unearned runs after the Hokies committed three uncharacteristic errors. Tech chipped into the lead in the fifth inning when Amanda Ake’s ground out plated Dani Anderson.
In the sixth inning, Lauren Gaskill led off with a sharp double to the gap before Courtney Liddle ripped an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for her second home run of the season to tie up the game.
The game headed to extra innings and senior Bkaye Smith began the inning on second base courtesy of the Tiebreaker Rule. She moved to third base on Gaskill’s ground out to second base and then made the play of the game to give Tech the lead. Kat Banks pulled a pitch hard to the third baseman, who looked Smith back before throwing to first base for the out. Smith broke on the throw and somehow contorted her body around the catcher and the tag to beat the throw.
In the eighth inning, Kennesaw got a runner to third base with a ground out before Kelly Heinz (W, 5-0) got a strikeout and a foul out to wrap up the win.
The Hokies got their second-straight two-hitter from the pitching staff, this time from the combination of Jasmin Harrell and Heinz. Harrell went 5.1 innings, allowing three unearned runs on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Heinz went the final 2.2 innings, picking up a strikeout and the win. Kennesaw’s ace, Amanda Henderson, went 6.2, innings, striking out nine. Abbey Mixon was saddled with the loss. She allowed an unearned run and struck out two for the Owls.
The two were scheduled to play a second game, but because of Tech's travel schedule and the late start, the game was cancelled. The Hokies went 2-0 this weekend, beating Jacksonville State 5-1 on Saturday.
Tech (11-1) will be back in action on Thursday, taking on Elon (5-6) in a single game starting at 6 p.m. on the road.
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