Birle's pitching performance not enough in 2-1 loss to Syracuse

Virginia Tech (19-33) 0001000141
Syracuse (29-18) 1000001270
  • Skytop Stadium - 231

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Despite a career performance in the circle for senior Elizabeth Birle, the Virginia Tech softball team’s potent offense was kept off balance all game as the Hokies fell to Syracuse (29-18, 9-10 ACC) in the seventh inning for the second-straight game, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon.

Birle set career-highs in innings pitched and runs allowed in a start as she surrounded only on earned run on seven hits in 6.2 innings of work. Sophomore Emma Strouth went 1-for-2 with a walk and a solo home run for Tech (19-33, 5-18 ACC).

The Orange got on the board first in the bottom of the first on a two-out RBI single but Birle bounced back and retired the side in order in the second and induced an inning ending double play to junior Whitney Saunders at third base in the third.

The twin-killing led to Strouth’s first pitch solo home run over the left field fence that tied the game up at 1-1. It was Strouth’s seventh home run and her team-best 34th RBI of the season

Birle kept it a tie game as she blanked the Orange in the fourth inning and retired the side in order in the fifth. Syracuse pieced together a threat in the bottom of the sixth as they had runners on first and second with one out. Birle settled down though as she got the next batter to fly out to junior Caroline Schoenewald in center before fielding a groundout on her own for the third out.

Schoenewald led off the top of the seventh with a single through the left side but the Hokies left the runner stranded. Birle returned for the seventh and recorded the first two outs of the inning before the Orange rallied with consecutive singles. The second single went through the middle of the infield and it allowed the game-winning run to score from first on an error.

The Hokies’ final game of the regular season is set for tomorrow at 12 p.m.

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