The Virginia Tech softball team swept a pair of games from league-leading Boston College Saturday afternoon at Tech Softball Park, winning the first game 9-1 in six innings before rallying for an 11-10 win in the second contest.
The Hokies jumped all over the Eagles in the first inning of the first game, scoring five runs. Dani Anderson drove in Richelle McGarva with a double and then Anderson scored on Ashton Ward’s hard single off the pitcher’s leg. Kristen Froehlich, who reached on a single, scored on Kristina Cruz’s ground out and then the final two runs scored on an error.
In the second inning, McGarva scored on Froehlich’s second hit of the game and Banks came home on Betty Rose’s sacrifice fly. The Eagles cut into the lead with a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. The Hokies got that run back in the fifth inning when Kristina Cruz plated Rose with a double down the line. Tech ended the game due to the run-ahead rule when Rose drove in Anderson with a double to left field.
Jasmin Harrell (W, 10-2) held the Eagles in check, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. At the plate, Froehlich and Rose led the way with two hits apiece while McGarva, Anderson, Ward and Cruz each had one.
In the second game, Boston College loaded the bases in the first inning, but could only scratch one run across. In the bottom of the first inning, Tech loaded the bases on three walks and scored its first run on a single from Froehlich and then took the lead on a sac fly from Rose.
But as quickly as Tech got the lead back, Hokie starter Kenzie Roark gave it back and then some. She gave up a leadoff triple, a single and a wild pitch to score a run and then loaded the bases with walks before giving up a grand slam to Gemma Ypparila to make it 6-2. After she walked another batter, head coach Scot Thomas pulled her for Harrell with two outs in the second inning after Roark threw 63 pitches with just 29 for strikes.
The Hokies rallied in the second inning, loading the bases with three more walks and got third run on a bases-loaded walk, but a strikeout and weak groundout ended any chance of Tech tying it up. But in the third inning, BC pitcher Morgan Kidd ran into more trouble, walking three more to load the bases. Pinch runner Sarah Ashby scored on a sac fly from McGarva and then Banks crushed a three-run home run to deep left field to give Tech a 7-6 lead, forcing a Boston College pitching change.
In the fifth inning, McGarva reached on an error and moved to third base on Banks’ double off the wall before Anderson sent them all back to the dugout with a three-run home run to left field to widen the Hokies’ lead. Rose then launched her team-leading seventh home run of the season to make it 11-6. The Eagles clawed back into it with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning from Tory Speer and then got another two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning, but Harrell got a fly out to end the game.
At the plate, Banks had two hits, three runs scored and three RBI to lead the way. Anderson (4 RBI), Froehlich, Rose and Bkaye Smith also had a hit for Tech.
Roark lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing six runs on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Harrell (W, 11-2) pitched the final 5.1 innings, allowing four runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Boston College pitcher Morgan Kidd walked 10 batters and reliever Amanda Horowitz walked two, accounting for the school-record 12 walks drawn by the Hokies in the game. The 20 combined walks between the two teams also mark a new record, eclipsing the 15 in a Tech/Boston University game in 2003.
Tech (23-8, 3-2 ACC) and Boston College (7-17, 3-2 ACC) will try to play the final game of the three-game series on Sunday at 1 o’clock. But with inclement weather forecast for overnight and Sunday, check hokiesports.com for any updates or changes.