ELON, N.C. (hokiesports.com) - A bases-loaded walk from Kelsey Mericka broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning as the 23rd-ranked Virginia Tech softball team came from behind to down Elon 2-1 on dedication night at Hunt Softball Stadium. The win was the ninth in a row for the Hokies as they improved to 12-1 on the season.
Elon plated an unearned run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead, marking the fourth straight game Tech’s opponent has scored first. But as Tech had done in the previous three games, it came right back, tying the game when Elon committed back-to-back errors in the fourth inning.
With the game tied in the seventh inning, the drama built as Bkaye Smith led off with a triple to the gap. After Lauren Gaskill and Courtney Liddle drew walks to load the bases, Mericka eventually came up. On a 2-2 count, she was nicked on the elbow to plate Smith, but the call was overruled by the field umpires, who said she leaned into the pitch. One pitch later, she drove in Smith for the second time, this time on a walk.
Jasmin Harrell (W, 6-0) then got the top of Elon’s dangerous order to go 1-2-3 to pick up the hard-fought win over a team that already has a win over No. 8 Georgia.
Kelly Heinz got the start, going three innings. She allowed an unearned run on eight hits with five strikeouts in the no decision. Harrell relieved Heinz in the fourth inning after the freshman gave up a single. The senior gave up a bunt single, but shut the door after that. She went four innings, allowing a hit with a walk and three strikeouts.
Tech will have the weekend off before playing a single game against UNCG Tuesday at 6 p.m. in its home opener at Tech Softball Park.
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