BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech softball team swept a pair of games with No. 22 Notre Dame Saturday at Tech Softball Park, winning the first game 5-4 before rallying again for a 3-2 win in the second game. For the Hokies, it was their fourth wins over a top-25 team in the past eight days as they beat No. 15 South Alabama last Saturday and No. 10 Florida State on Tuesday.
In the opener, the Irish took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a leadoff home run and a two-out RBI, but the Hokies battled back. In the third inning, Kylie McGoldrick scored on Vanessa Gonzalez’s double down the line and then Gonzalez scored on Katey Smith’s single to center field.
The Irish quickly took the lead back with a leadoff home run in the fourth inning, but in the fifth inning, Gonzalez walked and scored from first base on Smith’s double to left field. Notre Dame responded again, scoring a run in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-3 lead, but in the bottom of the sixth inning, Dani Anderson and Bailey Liddle hit back-to-back solo home runs to give Tech the lead and eventual win.
Maggie Tyler got the start, but didn’t factor into the decision. She went 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Kelly Heinz (W, 6-7) picked up the win, going 3.1 innings. She allowed one unearned run on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Tech peppered 2013 Big East Pitcher of the Year Laura Winter for five runs on nine hits. Gonzalez, Smith and Liddle both had two hits while McGoldrick, Anderson and Amanda Ake each had one hit.
In the second game, the Irish once again jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and again, the Hokies rallied. In the third inning, Lauren Gaskill singled and scored on Amanda Ake’s double to the gap and Ake eventually scored when Anderson was hit with the bases loaded.
After threatening in the three previous innings, the Hokies finally took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Gaskill singled - her third hit of the game - and stole second base before coming home on McGoldrick’s single to center field for the game winner.
Gaskill led the way with three singles while McGoldrick, Ake, Gonzalez, Liddle and Elizabeth Birle each had one.
Tyler got the start again, but was chased in the second inning. She went 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Heinz (W, 7-7) once again got the win in relief, giving up just two hits in 5.2 innings with four strikeouts.
Tech (13-11, 4-3 ACC) and Notre Dame (18-7, 2-3 ACC) will wrap up the series on Sunday with a single game at noon.
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