RALEIGH, N.C. – Sophomore Katey Smith recorded three hits and three RBIs on the day to lead the Virginia Tech softball team to a split with the NC State Wolfpack in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Dail Stadium. Tech (16-13, 5-5 ACC) dropped the first game to NC State (18-10, 9-4 ACC) 6-3 before claiming the second game in a convincing 10-4 fashion.
In game one, the Hokies jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Bailey Liddle hit a solo home run to right-center field in the third inning, her third of the season. Tech added a run in the fourth inning thanks to an RBI from Amanda Ake.
NC State grabbed a 4-2 lead when Sara Lippard hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth, but the Hokies got one run back in the fifth inning when Elizabeth Birle scored on a Lauren Gaskill RBI to make the score 4-3. The Hokies’ comeback effort was thwarted as NC State added a pair of insurance runs to seal the deal in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Dani Anderson and Ake each had two hits in the game while Gaskill, Birle and Liddle all had one. Kelly Heinz (L, 8-9) went all six innings, allowing six runs on four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Game two was a different story as the Hokies used consistent hitting throughout the game to defeat the Wolfpack, 10-4. After failing to capitalize on several scoring opportunities in the first game, the Hokies used timely hitting to score 10 runs on 10 hits in the second game.
The Hokies got things started early as Birle scored on an error in the top of the second inning but NC State responded with a pair of home runs in the bottom of the second to jump out to a 3-1 lead.
Gaskill hit a home run of her own to bring Tech back within one. After that, it was all Hokies. Tech plated eight more runs between the third and sixth innings to account for the final tally.
Pitcher Maggie Tyler (W, 8-4) tossed the complete game, allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Smith led the way at the plate in the big offensive outburst. Gaskill, Ake and Vanessa each had a pair of hits while Kat Banks had one.
Tech will hit the field tomorrow for the final game of the series against NC State at 11 a.m. The time of the game has been changed to due to potential rain in the forecast.
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