TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (hokiesports.com) – Caitlin Dent hit a two-run home run and Emily Weiman escaped a seventh inning Virginia Tech rally as second-seeded NC State defeated the sixth-seeded Hokies, 3-1, Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2013 ACC Softball Championship at JoAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee, Fla.
With the win, the Wolfpack (32-18-1) advances to the championship game for the third time in program history, where it is 1-1 with a win over Florida State in 2006 and a loss to Virginia Tech in 2008. NC State has won 11 straight games, tied for the second longest streak in program history, and 18 of the last 20.
Weiman (30-16) increased her school-record win total to 30 victories and tallied her 38th complete game of the season. The sophomore struck out six, allowed six hits, and stranded 10 runners in the victory.
Maggie Tyler (3-2), making her sixth start of the season for the Hokies (35-19), went 5.1 innings in the circle and allowed three runs on eight hits with two strikeouts in the loss. Kelly Heinz got the final two outs in the sixth inning.
NC State grabbed the early lead, going up 1-0 in the first inning. Center fielder Caitlin Dent walked and came around to score three batters later on a Scout Albertson bloop fielder’s choice down the left field line.
Virginia Tech threatened in the second and the third, putting two runners into scoring position in both frames but failing to score. Weiman struck out Amanda Ake to end the second and induced a ground out from cleanup hitter Kylie McGoldrick to end the threat in the third.
The Hokies broke through in the fifth inning. With one out, Bkaye Smith singled to center, Lauren Gaskill was hit by a pitch, and Dani Anderson stroked a single down the left field line to tie the score. Weiman got the next two outs to strand two runners on base.
A two-run home run from Dent, her 14th of the season and fourth in the last five games, claimed the lead back for NC State in the fifth inning. The senior launched a shot over the left field wall with Renada Davis on base to give the Wolfpack a 3-1 lead.
Virginia Tech had one last shot in the seventh inning. Gaskill, Anderson, and Courtney Liddle reached to load the bases for the Hokies, but Weiman got McGoldrick to line out to left field and struck out Bailey Liddle to end the game.
The Hokies had six hits in the game, coming from six different players - Gaskill, Anderson, Courtney Liddle, Bailey Liddle, Kat Banks and Smith.
Virginia Tech (35-19; 37 RPI) will now have to wait until Sunday night to find out if its season continues. The NCAA will announced the 64-team field to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night at 10 p.m. on ESPNU.
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