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#10 Virginia Tech Softball Goes 4-1 at Lone Star State Invitational

Emma Lemley 1 VT ECU 2023 From VT
Connor Mardian | @ConnorMardian10
Softball Beat Reporter

#10 Virginia Tech pulled together an impressive 4-1 record in last weekend's Lone Star State Invitational, finishing the invitational outscoring their opponents 31-14.

Game 1

Virginia Tech would open the invitational against Abilene Christian. Pitching for the Hokies was Lyndsey Grein. Grein would compile a stellar outing, allowing just one hit through the five-inning run rule victory.

Scoring opened after Emma Ritter, who was walked, found herself scoring an unearned run thanks to an Addy Greene fly out. This would be the only run registered for either side in the first.

To open the second, a Bre Peck double and a Morgan Overaitis walk allowed for two runners on base when Teagan Thrunk stepped up to the plate. Thrunk would send the ball out of the park over the left field wall to expand Tech's lead to 4-0. After a quick bottom of the second, Virginia Tech would do their biggest damage at the top of the third. Five runs would be scored with RBIs from Overaitis, Kelsey Bennett, and Thrunk to extend the Tech lead to 9-0.

At the bottom of the third, following a myriad of changes, came the sole hit for Abilene Christian. Shaylee Alani would single towards the left center. However, this momentum would quickly cease as Grein then struck out Gianna Russo and Miranda Lista, leaving Alani on base.

The fifth inning brought two more runs, thanks to an Addy Greene double which brought in Trinity Martin and Thrunk. Addy Greene and Teagan Thrunk would combine for seven of the Hokies 11 RBIs. Thst combined with just one hit allowed by Grein helped the Hokies pick up a dominant 11-0 run rule victory to open the weekend.

Game 2

Up next for the Hokies softball squad were the #9 Texas Longhorns. On the mound for the Hokies would be sophomore ace Emma Lemley who would pitch an astounding 121 pitches through this eight-inning thriller.

The action started at the bottom of the first when an Alyssa Washington homer sent Mia Scott home from first, to give the Longhorns a 2-0 lead. This would be the only action until the top of the third when a Grace Chavez two-run homer would even the score at two all. In the bottom of the third, Leighann Goode reached first due to a VT error. This opened up the opportunity for Mia Scott who hit a RBI double to give the Longhorns a 3-2 lead. The action would not stop there, as a second two-run homer of the inning would grant Texas, a 5-2 lead heading into the top of the fourth.

It was a defensive duel through the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, as just three hits would be recorded until the top of the seventh which saw the Hokies pull together another fantastic effort. Following an error that allowed Bre Peck to reach first, two back-to-back home runs from Kelsey Bennett and Emma Jackson brought this game back to even at five all.

This caused the Longhorns to alter their pitching situation and opt for Citaly Gutierrez. Texas could not walk this game off at the bottom of the seventh, which meant for the first time this season, the Hokies would be heading to extras. With Emma Ritter placed on second, it took very little time for Cameron Fagan to send a single up the middle to send Ritter home which gave the Hokies their first lead of the evening at 6-5.

Following a foul out, a wild pitch meant junior Camille Corona was just one base away from evening the score. However, two strikeouts from Lemley would end this closely contested 6-5 affair, in favor of the Hokies.

Game 3

Game three for this Tech softball squad would pit them against SWAC opponents in Texas Southern.

on the mound for the Hokies was sophomore Molly Jacobson and she dominated as she pitched all five and allowed only three hits. The Hokies would appear a bit sluggish offensively early on as it took until the bottom of the third for Tech to open the scoring. It was a Ritter homer that sent her and Thrunk into the score column to give the Hokies a 2-0 lead.

This two-run homer would cause for Texas Southern to alter their pitching and bring in Nora Rodriguez to relieve Lailah Bell. Following the Ritter home run, a Jayme Bailey single batted Fagan in to extend the Hokies lead to three. Emma Jackson opened the floodgates even more as her three-run home run brought in Greene and Bailey from first and second base respectively.

The bottom of the fourth was where this run rule win was sealed. A Thrunk homerun and a Fagan RBI gave the Hokies an 8-0 lead. Texas Southern could not register any runs at the top of the fifth which meant Virginia Tech would earn their second run rule of the invitational and improve their Invitational record to 3-0.

Game 4

Saturday evening, the Hokies found themselves up against the Texas Longhorns for the second time out of their previous three games. On the mound for the Hokies was freshman Lyndsey Greind as she pitched all of what would be just six innings for the Hokies.

A Viviana Martinez single would grant the Longhorns their first two runs of the evening, as she batted in Alyssa Washington from second and Leighann Goode from third. Both teams would find themselves in dry spells until the bottom of the third which saw Martinez’s second at-bat result in another two RBIs as the Texas lead grew to four. Despite a Morgan Overaitis RBI which batted in the previously walked Jackson, the Hokies would be left in a three-run deficit trailing 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth.

It would be until the bottom of the sixth before any more runs were brought in for either side. In the sixth, it would be a Martinez home run, two unearned runs, and a walk that brought the score to 8-1 in favor of Texas. Despite a Kelsey Bennett homer at the top of the seventh, her efforts could not wield the Hokies back and they dropped their first game of the invitational, losing 8-2.

Game 5

To end the Lone Star State Invitational, the Hokies took on Abilene Christian in their second fixture of the weekend. It was Emma Lemley who was making her second start of the weekend. It was a fruitless first one-and-a-half innings as neither side could stamp their authority on this game.

That was until an Addy Greene homer sent her and the previously walked Thrunk into the scoresheet to give the Hokies a 2-0 lead. At the bottom of the third, following a Jayme Bailey fly out, Thrunk added another run to her name to make it 3-0 Hokies.

Abilene Christian however, did put up their sole run of the afternoon in the top of the fifth, as a Sydney Kaiser fly out just gave enough time for Olivia Taylor to make it home. At the bottom of the fifth, Kelsey Brown would rack in the final unearned run of this game thanks to an error by the Abilene Christian catcher.

The Hokies won 4-1 thanks to stellar pitching from Lemley and two runs from Thrunk along with two RBIs from Greene.

Virginia Tech finished this invitational with a season record 11-4 and will host the North Carolina State Wolfpack this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before taking on Mount St. Mary’s the following Tuesday in a doubleheader at Tech Softball Park.

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