May 16, 2015
Spirited rally falls short as Tech falls to Longwood in extra innings
Hokies conclude season in NCAA Regional
Longwood (34-24) 30001002690
Virginia Tech (34-23) 00004000460
  • Knoxville, TN

Kelsey Mericka broke the school record with her 17th home run
Katey Smith hit her fifth home run of the season
• The loss marked the end of five senior’s careers at Tech

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A spirited comeback from the Virginia Tech softball team fell just short as the Hokies fell to Longwood 6-4 in eight innings Saturday afternoon at Lee Stadium in an elimination game at the Knoxville Regional of the 2015 NCAA Softball Championship.

The Lancers jumped on Tech starter Kelly Heinz in the first inning, scoring three runs on three hits to force a pitching change. Longwood plated another run in the top of the fifth inning to stretch its lead out, but the Hokies didn’t give up and rallied in the fifth inning. They got their first hit of the game in the fifth inning when catcher Katey Smith led off with a home run off the scoreboard. Kelsey Mericka followed that up with a solo home run to right-center field, her 17th of the season to set a new school record for home runs in a season. She entered the game tied with Megan Evans, who had 16 in 2005.

Later in the inning, Jessie Mehr (walk) scored from first base on Bailey Liddle’s double to the gap and Lauren Gaskill tied the game up with a single to plate pinch runner Whitney Saunders, who twisted around the tag to score in fantastic fashion.

The game remained tied and headed to extra innings, where the Lancers finally broke through with a two-RBI, two-out triple off the wall to go ahead 6-4. Tech tried to mount a comeback as the tying run came to the plate, but couldn’t get the big hit to tie it back up again, falling in extra innings.

Heinz couldn’t get out of the first inning, allowing three runs on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in a third of an inning. Maggie Tyler (L, 15-14) went the final 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts.

At the plate, the Hokies had six hits, led by two from Smith. Mericka, Gaskill, Liddle and Michelle Prong each had one hit.

With the loss, Tech finishes its season 34-23. The loss marked the end of five senior’s careers: Gaskill, Kylie McGoldrick, Liddle, Prong and Logan Spaw. The group played in four NCAA Regionals and won exactly 150 games in their four-year careers.

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