February 13, 2015
Tyler leads Hokies to big extra-inning win over JMU
Junior strikes out career high 17 in victory
Virginia Tech (7-0) 00000012341
James Madison (0-1) 00000011271
  • Jacksonville, FL - 128

Maggie Tyler had a career-high 17 strikeouts
Breanna Davenport drove in a run in the top of the seventh inning
Kelsey Mericka’s two-run home run in the eighth proved to be the difference

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior Maggie Tyler recorded a career-high 17 strikeouts as the Virginia Tech softball team won a heart-pounding 3-2 game in eight innings over in-state rival and two-time defending CAA champion James Madison University Friday afternoon on the first day of a tournament hosted by the University of North Florida.

The game was scoreless until the seventh inning when the Hokies struck first. Breanna Davenport laced a single to the gap to plate Bailey Liddle for an unearned run, but JMU picked up three hits in the bottom of the seventh to tie it up and send the game to extra innings.

In the top of the eight, the game moved to the Internation Rule with the final out of the previous inning starting the stanza on second base, that being Kylie McGoldrick for the Hokies. After an out by Katey Smith, Kelsey Mericka blasted a two-run shot to give the Hokies a 3-1 lead. JMU had its chance in the bottom of the eighth and plated its runner that started on second base, but Tyler got a strikeout and ground out to end the game.

Tyler (W, 3-0) had the game of her career, allowing just two runs (one earned) on seven hits with 17 strikeouts and no walks. She out-dueled All-American Jailyn Ford, who allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits with seven strikeouts. The 17 strikeouts by Tyler are the most by a Tech pitcher since Angela Tincher had 19 striekouts against Florida in her final game at the 2008 WCWS, coming in nine innings.

In the past 29 innings pitched, Tech pitchers have given up just one earned run, walked three and struck out 35.

The Hokies had just four hits, but made them count as two came in the seventh to manufacture a run and a third came in the eighth on the home run. Bailey Liddle, Elizabeth Birle, Davenport and Mericka had the hits.

This is the first time since 2012 that the Hokies have started off 7-0. The best start ever for the Hokies came in 2006 when they started 10-0 before finishing with 39 wins.

Tech will return to action on Saturday for two more games, first against Maine at 10 a.m., and then against the host Ospreys at 2:30 p.m.

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