Hokies split day two action at the ACC/Big 10 Challenge

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Virginia Tech (5-2) 0100010240
Iowa (2-5) 0001000181
  • Atlanta, Ga. - 275

ATLANTA - The Virginia Tech softball team went 1-1 on a cloudy and wet Saturday at the ACC/Big 10 Challenge as the Hokies narrowly fell to Penn State, 1-0, in extra innings and defeated Iowa for the second-consecutive day, 2-1.

The Hokies (5-2) were again anchored by their pitching as junior Aysha Richardson and freshman Taylor Barnes combined to allow only three runs in 13.1 innings pitched. Richardson also went 3-for-7 on the day at the plate.

Hokies 2, Iowa 1
A go-ahead home run off the bat of redshirt sophomore Chelsea Whitcomb in the top of sixth provided the offensive lift that Tech needed in its 2-1 win over the Hawkeyes.

On a 3-2 pitch, Whitcomb rocketed her first home run of the season over the left center field fence, giving the Hokies its first run since an RBI single from sophomore Lauren Duff drove in junior Jessie Mehr that gave Tech a 1-0 lead in the top of second.

Barnes’ lone blemish of the day was a solo home run that tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. She would go on to settle down and record her first complete game as a Hokie.

Penn State 1, Hokies 0 (8)
The Nittany Lions walked off with a 1-0 win over Tech despite a brilliant pitching performance from Richardson. The Louisa, Virginia native struck out three and allowed only four hits in 6.1 innings of work.

The game ended in bizarre fashion. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Cailtlyn Nolan fielded a grounder and looked to get the force out at home. On the throw, the ball bounced off the runner advancing from second to third, allowing the game-winning run to score.

Tech had a few chances to cross the plate earlier the game but couldn’t convert. In the top of the fifth, Duff ripped a double down the left field line and stole third all with one out but couldn’t get home. Senior Vanessa Gonzalez also knocked a one-out double in the top of the seventh but two groundouts followed to end the threat.

The Hokies will wrap up play at the ACC/Big 10 Challenge with a rematch against Penn State tomorrow at 10 a.m.

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