Virginia Tech Softball Sweeps Doubleheader Over Louisville, Registers Program’s 1,000th Win

Cori McMillan’s three-run homer in the 10th inning of the second game sealed the series win for Virginia Tech at Louisville. (Jon Fleming)

On a day that Virginia Tech registered the 1,000th win in program history, Louisville made the No. 15 Hokies work overtime for win No. 1,001, forcing extra innings before Tech prevailed 5-2 in 10th frame.

Cori McMillan’s three-run bomb over the left field scoreboard proved to be the difference in the second game for Tech (17-3-1, 5-0 ACC). It was the team’s third home run in the contest, which accounted for all five of its runs.

Earlier in the day, the Hokies run-ruled Louisville 11-1 in a game that only went five innings. It was a stark offensive contrast to the second game as all 11 of their hits were singles.

The Tech pitching staff was stellar on Saturday. It didn’t allow a single earned run and struck out 20 batters.

The Hokies have won 11 of the last 12 in the series against the Cardinals and will try to extend the streak on Sunday in the series finale at 4:30 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.

“We didn’t come here to win two games,” Tech head coach Pete D’Amour told Tech Sideline after the game. “We need to come out ready to play tomorrow.”

Game 1: Virginia Tech 11, Louisville 1 (five innings)

Lyndsey Grein (5-1) got the start in the circle for the Hokies and registered her third consecutive complete game, limiting the Cardinals to a single check-swing infield hit in the third inning. She struck out four.

Meanwhile, her offense, which was third in the country in home runs per game prior to the contest, did not even register an extra base hit. Instead, the Hokies settled for 11 singles, eight of which drove in runs, along with a bases-loaded walk and a hit by pitch. In total, eight different Hokies brought in runs while nine different players scored.

Emma Ritter, Addy Greene and McMillan each had two hits and two RBI. The Cardinals tried four different pitchers but the Hokies scored on all four.

Game 2: Virginia Tech 5, Louisville 2 (10 innings)

The second game of the day was much different from the first.

All of the Hokies’ runs came via the long ball. Bre Peck got the home run derby started in the second with a solo blast to right center — her fifth round-tripper of the year — and Ritter doubled the lead with her fifth homer of the year in the fifth.

Left-handed freshman Emma Mazzarone got the start for the Hokies and pitched into the sixth inning before her defense let her down. Louisville’s leadoff hitter Chelsea Mack registered her third hit of the game and went to third on an overthrow by Mazzarone. Mack scored on a wild pitch, and when Daisy Hess followed with a single, D’Amour summoned Emma Lemley to the circle.

An error by shortstop Annika Rohs put runners on the corners and a single by Vanessa Miller tied the game at two. But with runners on second and third, Lemley struck out the next two Cardinals, starting a string of 14 consecutive batters that she retired, 11 by strikeout.

“I was feeling good — feeling fresh,” Lemley said. “My rise ball and curve were working well tonight. I think Coach Josh [Johnson] called one drop ball and I said, ‘I’m not throwing that — I’m throwing my rise ball,’ and it worked.”

“Our pitching was on point today,” D’Amour said. “All three [pitchers] threw well. Lem came in and steadied the ship and gave us 4 ⅔ of elite pitching. She was throwing hard and locating as well as she has all year.”

In the top of the 10th inning, the Hokies got Lemley the run support she needed. With two outs, Michelle Chatfield doubled and, with first base open, Louisville decided to intentionally walk Peck, bringing McMillan to the plate.

She blasted the first pitch she saw over the scoreboard in left field for a three-run home run to give the Hokies the lead and eventually the win. It was her sixth home run of the year and increased her team-leading RBI total to 22.

“I was just trying to pick it up for my team,” McMillan said. “I had not been producing the way I wanted to all day, so I thought what better moment than right then.”

“Cori was ready for her last at-bat, and we always try to preach that,” D’Amour added. “No matter how the early at bats go, always be ready for the next one… and she [was].”

McMillan led all Virginia Tech hitters with five RBI on Saturday while Ritter was 4-for-7 and Greene was 4-for-8.

3 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. This team looks like the real deal. Pitching has been improving as the season goes along. The hitting has bee great all year. And don’t forget one of our best hitters (Castine) has been out injured for a while. If this team is clicking on all cylinders by the end of the season, it could be something really special.

  2. Prior to the start of the season I figured that our pitching looked good on paper. Well, it’s not just looking good on paper. And the hitting, nuff said.

  3. I was feeling it for Grein last year year but never quite got ahead of the power curve, Three consecutive complete games? That’s what you need.

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