ATLANTA - Behind a pair of strong pitching performances and a big offensive effort, the Virginia Tech softball team picked up a pair of ACC wins Saturday, downing Georgia Tech 7-0 and 5-2 at Mewborn Field to improve to 10-6 in the conference.
In the opener, sophomore Kelly Heinz tossed a four-hit shutout and shut down the Georgia Tech offense as the Hokies rolled to a 7-0 win. Tech got on the board first in the third inning when Katey Smith singled up the middle to drive in Kylie McGoldrick. In the fourth inning, Bailey Liddle doubled to right field to drive in Dani Anderson and then McGoldrick picked up a bases loaded walk to allow Liddle to score.
In the fifth inning, Amanda Ake blasted a two-run home run to center field and then Lauren Gaskill singled to drive in Liddle. The final run of the game came in the sixth inning when Kat Banks doubled to allow Anderson to score.
Heinz (W, 11-11) was superb, tossing her first shutout since a 1-0 win over South Alabama over Spring Break on March 7. She allowed just four hits and no walks while striking out six.
The offense was clicking, picking up 12 hits - the most in an ACC game this year. Anderson led the way with three hits and three runs scored while Liddle had two hits. Gaskill, Ake, Banks, Logan Spaw, Vanessa Gonzalez, Katey Smith and Jessica McNamara each had one.
In the second game, the Hokies took advantage of Georgia Tech’s erratic pitching in the first inning as Kanani Cabrales tossed 46 pitches in the first stanza, issuing two bases loaded walks. In the second inning, Smith singled to drive in McGoldrick to make it 3-0. The Jackets cut into the lead with a home run and an RBI double in the second inning, but that would be it. Ake hit her second home run of the day - and eighth of the year - in the fifth inning and then Liddle gave Tech a little breathing room with an RBI single in the seventh inning.
Maggie Tyler (W, 10-5) shut down the Georgia Tech offense, allowing just two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Ake had two hits to lead the way while Gaskill, Gonzalez, Smith, Spaw and Liddle each had one.
With the sweep, the Hokies moved to 21-16 on the season. Georgia Tech fell to 18-14, 8-10 in the ACC.
The two teams are scheduled to play a final game on Sunday at noon, although rain could force a schedule change.
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