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#13 Virginia Tech Softball Sweeps NC State to Open ACC Play

Cam Fagan Walk Off Homer Celebration VT NCST 2023 From VT
Connor Mardian | @ConnorMardian10
Softball Beat Reporter

#13 Virginia Tech Softball hit the ACC ground running with a series sweep against the NC State Wolfpack to improve their season record to 14-4.

Game 1: Virginia Tech 7, NC State 0

The action opened at Tech Softball Park on Friday with 7-1 sophomore Emma Lemley on the mound for the Maroon and Orange. The Hokies jumped right out the gates with four runs in the first inning, thanks to an outfield error, and back to back to back RBI singles from Addy Greene, Kelsey Bennett, and Teagan Thrunk to give the Hokies a commanding early lead. The Wolfpack, however, may have considered themselves lucky as the Hokies ended up leaving three of their own stranded on base.

While NC State was still trying to figure out their shaky offense, the Hokies had no problem rattling in another run at the bottom of the second thanks to a second error, and a second run scored at the hands of a Bre Peck triple to widen Tech's lead further to 5-0. The third, fourth, and top of the fifth innings saw no action for either side as just one hit was registered. This is partly thanks to the pitching change made by the Wolfpack as they subbed on junior pitcher Aisha Weixlmann to take over pitching duties.

Although the NC State defense did vastly improve, two runs were given up and an offense that was shut out spelled the first Wolfpack loss of the weekend, as they fell 7-0 to the Hokies.

Game 2: Virginia Tech 7, NC State 3

Game two against NC State, just under 24 hours later, found freshman Lyndsey Grein on the mound. Following strong pitching in the first 2 innings, the offensive action started at the top of the third when Rebecca Murray launched a three-run home run to give the Wolfpack an early lead. This sent a shock through the Hokie fanbase as the 5-12 Wolfpack were looking to hold the steady lead for the upset. Virginia Tech took little time to respond, as by the top of the fourth, a two-run Addy Greene home run narrowed the NC State lead to 3-2.

Following the Hokies, two runs scored in the fourth, Tech opted to replace Grein with Emma Lemley. Lemley would go on to pitch a cool 33 pitches through a quick three-innings to sure up this Tech defense. The Hokies would tie the game up in the fifth with an Emma Ritter solo home run to left field. This would leave the Hokies with two more chances to complete the comeback which they did. It all happened in the sixth as Addy Greene hit her second two-run home run of the game to give Tech the lead before a two-run home run from Kylie Aldrige, the first of her career, gave Tech some extra insurance with a 7-3 lead.

In the end, Hokies were able to steady their ship and hold on to avoid their first ACC loss of the campaign.

Game 3: Virginia Tech 10, NC State 1

Sunday was the third appearance for Emma Lemley as it was apparent she was in a groove. A defensive duel took place until a Cam Fagan groundout sent in Maija Louko to open the scoring in the bottom of the third. However, a quick response was issued at the top of the fourth when a Katlyn Pavlick home run evened the game.

Yet the usual Jayme Bailey home run soon followed bringing home two runs. All of a sudden, Virginia Tech looked in control of this game and was pushing for more. Yet, solid Wolfpack pitching and defense kept the floodgates from opening.

That was until the bottom of the sixth when an onslaught of Tech runs began. It started with the bases loaded and outfielder Emma Jackson drew a walk to make it 4-1. Next up to bat was Teagan Thrunk, Thrunk would single and bring in Jayme Bailey and Addy Greene to make it 6-1. Kylie Aldridge was next to the plate and despite her grounding out, Jackson was still able to advance home. Thrunk was then rewarded for her single as Ritter sent her to the dugout thanks to yet another single.

Now at this point, the score reads 8-1. With the last pitch of the game, Fagan slung the ball out the left field and moved the score to 10-1, making it another Tech run rule victory.

The Hokies will host Mount St. Mary’s on a Tuesday evening doubleheader, as they look to build on their impressive start to the season.

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