May 13, 2016
Tech drops heartbreaker in ACC quarterfinal
Mericka, Whitcomb homer in the loss
Virginia Tech (29-28) 0001300462
(20) Notre Dame (40-10) 1010021590
  • Raleigh, N.C. - 216

RALEIGH, N.C. - With a two-run lead in the sixth inning, the ACC semifinal game was in reach for Virginia Tech. However, the Hokies ultimately fell short as Notre Dame took the 5-4 win in a waterlogged quarterfinal matchup.

The sixth-seeded Hokies slide to 29-28 while the No. 3-seed Irish improve to 40-10 on the year.

Tech and Notre Dame began play on Thursday night but the game was quickly called at the top of the second due to storms in the area. The Irish posted one run in the bottom of the frame before a nearly 14 1/2-hour rain delay that resumed play on Friday morning.

Tech picked up right where they left off on Thursday night with Maggie Tyler striking out seven in her 27th complete game. The ace becomes the third Tech pitcher in program history to toss 700 career strikeouts.

After three scoreless innings, leadoff batter Kelsey Mericka sailed a solo shot to left center to cut Notre Dame’s lead in half.

Chelsea Whitcomb followed suit to lead off the fifth, rocketing the ball to left to even up the score at two-runs each. Breanna Davenport knocked one to shallow center for a double with no outs on the board.

The Hokies did not quit, posting three runs on four hits in the frame to take a 4-2 lead. Katey Smith sent a single though the left side before Mericka did the same, driving in the final run of the frame.

Caitlyn Nolan snagged an Irish line drive heading to left field to keep the Irish scoreless in the bottom of the fifth.

However, Notre Dame’s Kimmy Sullivan evened up the game with a two-RBI homer, evening up the score a 4-all.

The Hokies showed their fight in the seventh but Wester tripled then scored on error for the 5-4 walk-off win.

Tech allowed three earned runs in the contest while Tyler takes the loss to hold a 23-18 record. Relief pitcher Rachel Nasland earned the win in 3.0 innings, improving to a 14-3 mark.

Mericka hit 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and a walk in the quarterfinal to lead Tech’s offense. Davenport logged two hits while both Whitcomb and Smith had one apiece.

With an RPI of 42 and No. 6 strength of schedule, the Hokies await the NCAA Tournament’s selection show on Sunday night.

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