No. 13 Virginia Tech Softball Bounces Back, Thrashes NC State 14-1

Maija Louko and the Hokies really took it to NC State on Saturday in Raleigh. (Virginia Tech athletics)

No. 13 Virginia Tech softball found its way after four consecutive ACC losses with a 14-1 win over NC State on Saturday.

When No. 2 Duke swept the Hokies (27-9-1, 10-4 ACC) last weekend, it was suboptimal yet unsurprising. When the Wolfpack (20-17, 2-12 ACC) squeezed a win on Friday, it was a wake-up call.

But Saturday’s game was a rebound for a Tech team that needed one. Eight players in the starting lineup reached base at least once and seven of them scored. It posted 13 unanswered runs in the first three innings to blow the game out of the water.

“This was like a different team coming out today,” left fielder Addy Greene told Tech Sideline after the game. “We took that punch in the face and turned around and punched them right back.”

Greene led with four runs, on three walks and a solo home run in the third inning. Right fielder Cori McMillan, second baseman Cameron Fagan and designated player Maija Louko each added two runs as well.

NC State’s first two pitchers, Carly Maxton and Aisha Weixlmann, each struggled to limit Tech’s offense, which earned its 12th run-rule win of the season. Maxton lasted just seven batters in the first and surrendered five runs and four hits. Weixlmann ate 1 ⅓ innings and was better, although the statline won’t show it — she allowed six runs and left after a line drive hit her pitching hand. Kayla Fekel, who threw the last three frames, gave up two hits and two runs.

Emma Mazzarone threw the first four innings for the Hokies and granted three hits and one run. She struck out two batters and walked none — after struggling with command in recent appearances.

Cassie Grizzard saw her first appearance since March 28 in the last inning, in which she worked around a leadoff hit by pitch to strike out the final three batters.

Although she didn’t score a run, catcher Kylie Aldridge hit 2-for-3 with two RBI. In her last three games, Aldridge has five hits and raised her season batting average to .294.

“I think I’m more confident going out there right now, knowing that if I swing hard, good things can happen,” Aldridge said. “If I get out, the other eight can easily do the same thing.”

The Hokies will look to grab a series victory on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on ACC Network.

Box Score: No. 13 Virginia Tech 14, NC State 1 (5 innings) 

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