FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Virginia Tech softball team picked up a huge split of a pair of games with 10th-ranked Florida State Tuesday evening at the FGCU Softball Complex in a neutral site ACC doubleheader, falling 12-0 in five innings in the opener before holding on for a heart-stopping 5-4 win in the night cap.
In the opener, the Seminoles wasted no time jumping on the board, scoring three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks, in part, to two Hokie fielding errors. The Seminoles pounded out seven runs on five hits in the third inning to put the game on ice and they eventually scored two more runs in the fourth inning to end the game early do the run-ahead rule.
FSU pitcher Lacey Waldrop had her way with the Hokies, allowing no runs on just two hits with 10 strikeouts. Amanda Ake and Kylie McGoldrick had the only base hits for Tech. Kelly Heinz (L, 5-7) took the loss for the Hokies, giving up 10 runs (seven earned) on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in three innings. Freshman Elizabeth Birle made her collegiate pitching debut, allowing two runs on two hits in an inning of work.
Tech got on the board first in the second game when McGoldrick led off the game with a home run to right-center field, her sixth of the year. It was also the 21st of her career, tying her for fourth place all-time in Tech softball history.
FSU scored a run in the bottom of the first to knot the score up, but in the third inning, McGoldrick drew a one-out walk and hustled around to score on Lauren Gaskill’s double to the gap. But again, Tech couldn’t hold the lead as the Seminoles recorded back-to-back doubles to start the bottom half of the inning to tie it back up.
The Hokies continued to battle, putting two runners on in the fourth inning for Bailey Liddle who came through in the clutch with a single down the right field line to give the Hokies their third lead of the game. Dani Anderson reached on a fielding error by the pitcher, which allowed Michelle Prong to scamper home from third to make it 4-2. In the sixth inning, McGoldrick drove home another run with a single through the left side, but the Hokies left the bases loaded for the second time in the game, failing to bust the game open.
That almost came back to bite them as the hard-hitting Seminoles rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning. After a leadoff single, Courtney Senas launched a two-run home run to cut the lead to one. Maddie O’Brien singled with one out to put the winning run at the plate, but Bailey Schinella lifted a fly ball to left field that was caught by Vanessa Gonzalez, who fired it back to first base to double off pinch runner Bella D’Errico and end the game.
Tech had eight hits in the game, led by three from McGoldrick and two Liddle and one apiece from Gaskill, Ake and Katey Smith.
Maggie Tyler (W, 6-3) was strong for the Hokies, buckling down in crunch time. She went the distance, allowing four runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
It was the second win for Tech over a top-15 team this trip as it also beat No. 15 South Alabama earlier in Boca Raton. It's Tech's first win over a top-10 team since beating No. 9 UCLA last season in California.
Florida State moves to 21-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference with the split.
Tech (11-10, 2-3 ACC) will wrap up its Spring Break trip with a single game against Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. before returning home this weekend to play a three-game ACC series against No. 22 Notre Dame that begins on Saturday at Tech Softball Park.
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