FARMVILLE, Va. - The Virginia Tech softball team stepped out of conference Wednesday for a road doubleheader at Longwood University, taking a pair of games at Lancer Field. The Hokies took the first game 4-0 before rallying for a 5-3 win in eight innings. It was the sixth doubleheader meeting all-time between the two squads and the first time either team had swept the two games.
In the opening game, the Hokies did damage with the long ball, hitting three solo home runs. Senior Marra Hvozdovic broke open a scoreless game in the second inning with a solo home run to left field, her first of the season. Courtney Liddle played copy-cat in the fourth inning when she crushed an offering deep over the centerfield field for a solo home run of her own, making it 2-0.
In the fifth inning, Kat Banks led off with a single and stole second base, eventually scoring on Kylie McGoldrick’s single and in the sixth inning, Liddle blasted her second home run of the game, another solo shot to center to make it 4-0. The home run was the 23rd of her career, moving her into second place all-time at Tech.
Jasmin Harrell (W, 18-9) was simply dominant in going the distance, picking up her seventh shutout of the season. She allowed just three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
At the plate, Tech had seven hits, led by three from Liddle. Hvozdovic, McGoldrick, Banks and Kelsey Mericka each had one.
The second game started a little slower for the Hokies, but they finally broke through in the third inning when Bkaye Smith tripled to the gap and was driven in by Lauren Gaskill’s sacrifice fly to right field. In the fourth inning, Hvozdovic drew a two-out walk and was off and running on Banks’ single to center field. The Lancers attempted to throw her out at third base, but the base skipped short and rolled out of play, allowing Hvozdovic to score.
The Lancers tied it up in the fourth inning thanks to three Tech walks. Bailey Liddle walked the first two batters and then Isabella Corrao walked one to load up the bases. After a strikeout and a fielder’s choice, Corrao gave up a two-RBI single to left field that allowed Longwood to tie it up. The Lancers scored in the bottom of the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice off Harrell, but Banks led off the seventh inning with a home run to left field to tie it up.
In extra innings, Anderson got down the sac bunt to move pinch runner Laura Wolff to third base before Betty Rose doubled to the gap to plate Wolff. Rose came in to score one batter later when Hvozdovic doubled to the gap to make it 5-3.
Bailey Liddle cruised through three innings, but threw eight straight balls to start the fourth inning and was promptly pulled, earning a no decision. She went three-plus innings, allowing a run on a hit with two walks and four strikeouts. Isabella Corrao went two-plus innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Harrell (W, 19-9) went the final three innings, allowing no runs on a hit with four strikeouts.
At the plate, Tech had seven hits, two from Banks and one apiece from Dani Anderson, Hvozdovic, McGoldrick, Rose and Smith.
Tech (30-14, 7-4 ACC) will hop back into conference action this weekend, travelling to Massachusetts for a three-game set at Boston College (19-16, 1-8 ACC). The two will play the doubleheader of the series on Saturday at 1 p.m., at Shea Field.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).