February 21, 2014
Tech splits on first day of Bama Bash
Hokies rally to beat McNeese State, fall to No. 9 Alabama
Virginia Tech (6-2) 0000013461
McNeese State (7-7) 0001000111
  • Tuscaloosa, AL - 201
Virginia Tech (6-3) 00000010
(7) Alabama (9-2) 330028111
  • Rhoads Stadium - 683
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Virginia Tech softball team split a pair of games on the first day of the Easton Bama Bash, rallying to beat McNeese State 4-1 before falling to No. 9 Alabama 8-0 in five innings Friday at Rhoads Stadium.

The Hokies fell behind 1-0 in the fourth inning of the first game when the Cowgirls scored an unearned run with a double to right field. That would be the only run and hit they would get for the entire game as Kelly Heinz shut them down the rest of the way.

In the sixth inning, Vanessa Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk and moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Amanda Ake to put her in scoring position. Katey Smith grounded to third base, but the throw sailed high, allowing Gonzalez to scamper home with the tying run. In the top of the seventh inning, Kat Banks led off with a home run to left field – her first of the season – to give Tech the lead. After a single and a stolen base from Lauren Gaskill, Michelle Prong connected on her first home run as a Tech player, lifting a two-run shot to left-center field to make it 4-1.

That would be more than enough for Heinz, who got three outs in the seventh to close out Tech’s third come-from-behind win of the season. Heinz (W, 4-2) went the distance, allowing one unearned run on one hit with three strikeouts and three walks.

Prong and Banks led the way with a pair of hits apiece while Dani Anderson and Gaskill each had one. Gonzalez drew three walks and stole a base.

In the second game, Tech gave up three runs in the first and second innings and two in the fifth inning - all with two outs – as ninth-ranked Alabama picked up a run-rule win over the Hokies.

Maggie Tyler (L, 2-1) had the Tide on the ropes several times and pitched well, but gave up three key, two-out hits to them that were big. The sophomore went 4.2 innings, allowing eight runs on 11 hits with five walks and two strikeouts.

Tech got just one hit off Alabama’s Leslie Jury, who struck out one. Ake’s two-out single in the fifth inning was the long hit, but the Hokies did draw five walks and a hit batter in the game, leaving runners on base each of the five innings.

Gonzalez drew three more walks in the second game to take her total to six for the day and a team-high 15 for the season in just nine games. Anderson drew a walk and was hit by a pitch to reach twice as well.

Tech (6-3) will be back in action again on Saturday, playing the same two teams. The Hokies will open with McNeese State at 11 a.m. local time (noon ET) and Alabama at 1:30 p.m. local time (2:30 ET).

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