BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) - A night after rolling to an 8-1 win at Radford, the Virginia Tech softball team didn’t find the going as easy against the same Highlander team, but still managed to pull out a 2-1, eight-inning victory Wednesday afternoon at Tech Softball Park. With the win, the Hokies improved to 29-15 while Radford fell to 16-30.
Radford got on the board first in the fourth inning when Casey Burns hit a solo home run that just cleared the fence when Tech center fielder Lauren Gaskill appeared to rob it, but when she hit the fence, the force of her body popped the ball loose and over.
The Hokies finally got on in the “R” column in the sixth inning, but in an unconventional way. Slugger Courtney Liddle reached on an infield bunt and went to second on the errant throw. Two batters later, her sister Bailey Liddle drove a single to right field to plate her older sister and tie it up on the unearned run.
The game went to extra innings after Tech couldn’t get the winning run home in the bottom of the seventh inning. But after Tech starter Jasmin Harrell got out of slight jam in the top of the eighth inning, the Hokies went to work. In the bottom of the eighth, Kat Banks led off with a sharp double to left field and then Courtney Liddle drew a walk before Kylie McGoldrick was hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded and a thunderstorm bearing down on the area, Bailey Liddle came through in the clutch, singling to left field to drive in the winning run.
Tech had seven hits in the game, led by Bailey Liddle’s two. The sophomore also had both RBIs in the win. Tech also got one apiece from Gaskill, Banks, Courtney Liddle, McGoldrick and Dani Anderson.
Harrell (W, 13-7) was back to her old self in picking up the complete-game win. The senior, who has struggled of late, allowed just the one run on eight hits in eight innings with a walk and six strikeouts.
Tech will jump back into conference play this weekend, travelling to Charlottesville for a big three-game ACC series at the University of Virginia. Tech sits at 6-8 in the conference and in sixth place while UVa is 20-25, 3-15 in the ACC and in seventh place. The doubleheader will be on Sunday at noon at The Park and the single game will be Monday night at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).