Hokies drop two one-run games to conclude Florida road trip

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UCF (12-8) 000010X131
  • UCF Softball Complex - 75

ORLANDO – Despite two stellar pitching performances from freshman Keely Rochard and sophomore Carrie Eberle, the Virginia Tech softball team dropped a pair of one-run losses on Tuesday against Ball State, 4-3, and UCF, 1-0.

Junior Emma Strouth went 3 for 6 over the two games while Rochard fanned seven in her start against Ball State and Eberle struck out six against UCF. The Hokies (10-10) went 3-4 on their road trip through the Sunshine State that started at the Jacksonville Invitational on Friday.


It was a pitcher’s duel through the first four and a half innings as the teams combined to post only two hits. The Hokies had runners on in the second after Strouth got on with a lead-off single and in third when freshman Sammi Miller reached on a two out walk. Neither opportunity led to any runs.

The Knights got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, scoring the game’s only run on an RBI groundout to second base.

Tech still trailed 1-0 heading into the top of the seventh where, with one out, Strouth sent a double to the gap in right center field. The ball was misplayed by the centerfielder and Strouth advanced to second on the error. It wouldn’t be enough though as back-to-back groundouts to third base ended the ball game.


Trailing 2-0 entering the top of the third, the Hokies put runners on first and second with no one out for Barrett. She delivered with an opposite field single to right field that plated Miller from third base. With runners on the corners, Strouth tied the game up at 2-2 on sacrifice fly that scored Darby Trull.

The Hokies went ahead the next time up to bat, 3-2, on a bases loaded walk drawn by Miller. Rochard then went on to retire the side in home half of the of the fourth and sat down six of the eight Cardinals heading into the seventh.

Ball State put two runners on with no one out in the bottom of the seventh and laid down a sacrifice bunt. Rochard fielded the ball and got the out at first but nearly threw the ball away. Seeing that Olivia Lattin, who was covering first, was pulled off the bag from the throw, Ball State used heads up base running to move up another bag, scoring the tying run from second and moving up to third. With one down, a runner on third and new pitcher Jordan Dail in the circle, a wild pitch scored the go-ahead run as the Cardinals walked it off with a 4-3 victory.

The Hokies return to action this week as they open ACC play at Tech Softball Park with a three-game series against Syracuse from March 9-11.

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