Hokies take series opener from Georgia Tech in extras, 6-5

Georgia Tech (10-24) 012010105105
Virginia Tech (14-18) 100300116131
  • Tech Softball Park - 502

BLACKSBURG – Sophomore Lauren Duff went 3-for-5 and sent the game-winning run home on a sharp grounder that was misplayed by the shortstop with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth as the Virginia Tech softball team took the first game of a three-game series with Georgia Tech, 6-5, on Friday evening at Tech Softball Park.

Freshman Taylor Barnes earned the win in relief after striking out a career-high five batters in four innings of work. Junior Aysha Richardson went 3-for-4 while sophomore Caitlyn Nolan picked up two RBI and drove in the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh. The Hokies (14-19, 4-9 ACC) improved to 2-2 on the season in extra-inning games.

With one out and the game-tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Richardson was hit by a pitch and reached second after the throw from the shortstop was mishandled by the second baseman looking for the force out. The error allowed sophomore Olivia Lattin to reach on a fielder’s choice and it led the way for a walk from junior Breanna Davenport that loaded the bases.

A force out at home gave the Hokies two outs with Duff at the plate. Duff chopped a 1-0 pitch that was bobbled by the shortstop and allowed Lattin to score from third to end the game.

The Hokies struck first in the home half of the first on a two-out RBI single from Davenport that plated Richardson. The Yellow Jackets (10-24, 3-7 ACC) would come back though to score a run in the second and a run in the third to take a 3-1 lead.

Tech went to work in the fourth, starting with an RBI groundout from Nolan that cut the deficit to two, 3-2. With two down in the inning, Richardson brought home junior Caroline Schoenewald with a single and Lattin sent home the go-ahead run on an RBI double to the wall in left that made it 4-3.

Georgia Tech countered with a run in the fifth that tied it at 4-4 and would later jump ahead on a solo home run in the top of the seventh. Another clutch two out RBI, this time on a double from Nolan, scored pinch runner Whitney Metz from second to force extras.

Tech will be back in action tomorrow for the second against the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m. Fans can follow the action by using the live stats on HokieSports.com and on Twitter at @VT_Softball.

For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter

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