BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech’s pitchers allowed just six hits and struck out 22 in a pair of games as the Hokies downed Radford University 2-1 and 4-2 Thursday evening at Tech Softball Park to wrap up the regular season.
In the opener, Tech got on the board first with a run in the second inning. After Amanda Ake doubled, Jessica McNamara hammered a pitch to second base that was mishandled, which allowed Ake to score. Ake accounted for the other run in the fourth inning when she hit her team-leading 11th home run, a solo shot to right field.
Radford got a solo home run in the seventh inning, but couldn’t get the tying run across despite putting two runners on as Kelly Heinz shut the door to end the game.
Heinz (W, 19-11) went the distance, allowing one run on three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts.
In the second game, Radford scored two unearned runs in the first inning but the Hokies bounced back in a major way in the bottom half of the inning. Gaskill, McGoldrick and Vanessa Gonzalez all singled to start the frame and then Katey Smith laced a three-run triple down the line to clear the sacks. Smith scored on Spaw’s single to make it 4-2. That would be in for the scoring as both pitchers settled down and rolled from there on out.
Maggie Tyler (W, 15-8) notched a career-high 13 strikeouts, including seven in the final three innings, to pick up the win. She allowed a pair of unearned runs on three hits with no walks.
Tech had 10 hits in the game, led by two from Smith, Gaskill and McGoldrick. Bailey Liddle, Gonzalez, Spaw, Ake each had one.
The game marked the final home appearance for longtime assistant coach Al Brauns, who is retiring after this season. He’s been on the staff for 16 seasons, helping Tech to six NCAA Tournaments.
The Hokies (34-20) will now wait for the ACC Tournament pairings, which will be announced Sunday evening. Tech will play at either 5 p.m. on Thursday as the No. 2 seed or at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday as the No. 3 seed. The championship will be held at the Maryland Softball Stadium in College Park, Maryland.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_Softball